Thursday, 6 December 2012

Uncanny X-Men #203: Redeeming the Phoenix

A significant life event happened for one of the X-Men in San Franscisco, as Uncanny X-Men #203 reminds us. We see in flashback the Rogue/Ms. Marvel fight, mentioned in Avengers Annual #10 and passim, which has the odd implication that Rogue apparently stripped Ms. Marvel naked and redressed her in civvies, while on the Golden Gate Bridge (and removed all labels, as told in #10). I know they have fast costume changes in comics, but this is ridiculous. She helpfully exposits this, and reminds us why the X-Men are in New York (the Beyonder), before catching up with Kitty.

Kitty has been bequeathed Illyana's armour and soulsword (which we saw in New Mutants #36 would devolve upon her if Illyana gave up her responsibilities). The Beyonder has supposedly made it as if the New Mutants had ceased to exist, but apparently that power doesn't extend to Limbo and its workings, so Kitty has not only the equipment, but also the memory of the New Mutants. Rogue denies that Colossus even has a sister.

Rachel has remembered that the Beyonder never took the power back at the end of #202, and figures on an excellent idea to kill him: if she destroys the entire universe, she'll also destroy the Beyonder. As a plan, this would seem to have one obvious downside. Rachel goes around collecting personas, like she's suddenly got Rogue's ability. She grabs Kitty, Rogue (erm), Ms. Marvel, Jessica Drew (who is just randomly popping by), Colossus, Wolverine, Magneto, Storm.

She then becomes a giant fiery space bird, and goes via the Starjammers to the M'Kraan crystal. Here, she sees the totally of existence, and we learn the exact type of fiery space bird she is: chicken.

This successful attempt to control the Phoenix power by Rachel, appearing in March 1986, can be read as a direct attack on the Phoenix-related flashbacks from Fantastic Four a couple of months ago, that sought to blame the Phoenix for everything. In a couple of years we'll get to see Claremont's take on the Jamaica Bay incident in Classic X-Men: I'll be sure to cover that when it comes up.

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