Writer George Caragonne
Penciler Rod Ramos
Inker Jimmy Palmiotti
Letterer Janice Chiang
Colorist Renee Witterstaetter
Cover Dated January 1992
Split from The Dark Phoenix Saga, Uncanny X-Men 137 and continued from last issue.
Issue opens with a recap of what happened last issue. Phoenix notices Jean is alive in the cocoon. She has a stray thought of wishing Jean wasn’t alive. Jean vanishes from this life.
Phoenix has to find Shadow King as he had Mastermind steal baby Rachel so that Shadow King could have a proper host body. As we all know, Shadow King doesn’t mind taking over a lady’s body.
The Phoenix knows that she isn’t Jean because Mastermind shot her and she died, yet she came back.
It only takes three pages to do the full recap, which is pretty decent in terms of What If.
Phoenix locates Shadow King, he is somewhere on Muir Island. Phoenix confirms he isn’t inside either Moira MacTaggert or Banshee. She gets attacked by a like force, she turns around to see her grown daughter, Rachel, attacking her. Not only did Shadow King take her body but aged her as well. He was able to age her via the same machine that Erik the Red used to age Magneto from a baby to an adult. A story point that I have to try to forget again. Oh the ways Marvel has to try to keep Magneto young but also a WWII survivor.
Shadow King taunts Phoenix, as it tries to reason with Rachel to fight off the effects. Only Rachel’s body was aged, her brain is still that of an infant.
Once on the astral plane, Phoenix makes short work of the Shadow King. Phoenix is left with an adult Rachel with a baby brain. Luckily, she can revert Rachel’s body back to being a baby body so now she matches. What a relief! This happens on a page turn and I have to admit, I was a little worried with what one does with a grown woman’s body but with a mind of an infant. Does an infant even have the ability to move those heavy arms? I imagine so. But by the time she was 30, she would look like she was in her 50s.
After rescuing Rachel, Phoenix returns to the Mansion. She changes clothes and we get to see who the X-Men and others are at this point.
Storm, Rogue, Shadowcat, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Professor X, Cannonball, Magma, Wolfsbane, Sunspot, Mirage, and Cyclops – are present.
Phoenix lies about where she was. Scott is so happy to be reunited with his daughter. That’s pretty much how I feel everytime I come home for lunch or from work when I see Walker Dennis. Just all smiles.
Eight years pass. Phoenix never uses her powers during that time. From the captions, I take it the top row is the villains and the center team is the X-Men but I couldn’t figure out f that was Colossus starting off the villains but then I figured out that it was Mister Sinister.
Villains – Mister Sinister, Emma Frost, Arcade?, Omega Red, Magneto, Fenris Twins?, Apocalypse and Sabretooth
X-Men – Rogue, Colossus, Storm, Nightcrawler, Cyclops, Wolverine and Kitty – pretty much the only team you need.
The anit-mutant prejudice are raising to hazardous levels. In 1988, David Russell defeats Ronald Regan to become President of the United States. In 1990, Mutant Registration Act passes. Of course, the rat finks, the Avengers and Fantastic Four fall in line. Which is horrible as the Avengers have had mutants as members and flipping Franklin Richards is Reed and Sue’s son!
You see cute little Lockheed above Kitty, in a new costume!, the little guy put on a little weight. Cute little thing!
The mutants are gathered, wondering what they should do next.
Havok, Angel and Beast seem to have come back to the fold.
Wolverine checks in with a crying Rachel. She keeps having a recurring nightmare of a fire bird killing her mother. She has him swear that he won’t do anything about her dream, and he does.
Phoenix, after eight years of not doing anything, has an itch that it needs to scratch. Phoenix flies to the White House and telepathically changes the president’s mind. The very next day, he announces that being a bigot isn’t the way to be and is assassinated right there. Almost as if someone expected this day to happened.
Whoever the Vice President is, gives Henry Gyrich permission to start the Wideawake Procedure – which is the Sentinel program. We start getting shades of Days of Future Past here but it is clearly not Rachel’s timeline as there are already key differences. The Sentinels start attacking all super powered people, which makes total sense as what is the difference between inherited powers and accidental powers – powers are the threat.
Destiny tells Xavier that everyone has to leave the mansion. Wolverine decides now is as good as any to confront Phoenix. She just straight kills him. She leaves the room and sees that Cyclops and Xavier were outside the door the entire time. Phoenix leaves the mansion as the Sentinels arrive. She heads off to New Mexico and goes to where her and Scott made Rachel, right before heading to the moon in Dark Phoenix Saga.
The Sentinels attack the mansion. The surviving X-Men head to a new base. There they regroup, they will attack the Baxter Building, the Sentinels’ new base. Magneto joins them out of respect for his dead friend, Xavier. The Sentinels track Magneto and the X-Men at this base. Magneto tries to hold them off but his crippled in the process.
Phoenix shows up to wipe out these attacking Sentinels. She heads off to the Baxter Building and starts attacking.
Thanks to the Phoenix, the X-Men were able to get through the Sentinels’ defenses. Kurt collapses. Kitty runs over to her dear friend and holds him as he dies. The war the dirty flat scans have started as now officially gone too far!
Kitty grabs Colossus and she is going to end this nonsense.
Kitty phases until they find Master Mold. For some reason, she kisses Colossus goodbye. Maybe to get a bad taste in her mouth so that she can focus on her next big play.
One Fastball Special later, Kitty solidifies inside Master Mold’s head and destroys the entire system.
Okay, now the anti-mutant side has gone too far! With Kitty’s heroic death, the Sentinels are now left without a leader and are easy pickings.
With Kitty’s death, Phoenix can’t take it anymore and just burns out all of the Sentinels.
Scott calls her Jean but she was never Jean. He married her so he loves her. I mean, really, eight years later, of course he is going to stay with her. Plus, he has a child with her! Also, she’s a cosmic fire bird – one does not say no to a deity.
Lousy Destiny walks over to them, Phoenix asks what her future is like. Destiny tells her that all futures lead to death. I bet, if she looked a little beyond that, there is rebirth on the horizon. It may not be tomorrow or even a few years from now, it could take a hundred years, but Phoenix will burn everything.
Issue ends with Phoenix deciding, instead of having a few good years, to just leave Earth – leaving her husband and child behind.
. . .
With this post, I am now 33 today! I am now entering my Jesus year. If you hear of any Romans coming to Montana, please let me know in a hurry!
Come back tomorrow for . . . Our Second Annual Lockheed Month!