Looks like, this month, the X-Men follow the yellow brick road ... TO THEIR DEATH!
Or, rather, to a large, orange lizard with well-manicured hands. You probably can't see the well-manicuring in the small image, but trust me, they're there.
Also, Angel is saying, "Get him, Cyclops! It's up to you and Iceman, now!" If he has enough strength to say that, then that's not what I'd call "fighting to the last breath". That's fighting to the last breath but one, then using your last breath to tell someone something they will have figured out by you DYING.
Also note the purple pants.
Stan editorializes this opening of this issue thusly:
|Can Stan Lee ask a question that even he, himself, dare not answer?!|
A pertinent message for the modern world?! Can't wait! I'll bet its about pimples. Or Vietnam! Bonus: This issue is drawn by Neal Adams! (He was away for the last issue.) I've really come to like him, and look forward to meeting him at a Comic Book convention ... even if he does believe in a crack-pot "Expanding Earth" theory which ignores plate tectonics. FACT!
ANY-HOOO! The X-Men, returning from their battle with Shiro "Sunfire" Forgothislastname are confronted, outside of the X-Mansion, by Alex "Havok" Summers and Lorna "Lorna" Dane "Dane" in full battle garb. The pair drop some bombshells:
1) The z'nox (a race of space evils who follow the "Alien Rules Of Etiquette" by putting an apostrophe in their name, so we know they are WEIRD and ALIEN) are planning on invading earth
2) They plan on doing this ... by bringing their movable planet near to the Earth, thus destroying it.
3) Professor X is still alive!
4) Lorna Dane, herself. BOMBSHELL! Not since Jean grey have there been more x-men after a single hottie. Re-ow.
A bombshell I'd like to have seen drop was someone telling Alex how dumb his Havok suit is:
|Black unitard, dinner plate, broken egg beater.|
But back to Prof X! Jean knew he was still alive all along! He's only revealing himself, now, because these space z'Cavariccis [Fashion slacks ... from space!] are a race of war-mad weirdos who have no sense of humor and who will stop at nothing to wage all out war. Sounds like [loathed politician] from [political party], right?! Watch your back, Bill Maher, I'm getting political!
Luckily, Profy Xaves has a cunnin' plan:
BUT FIRST! In flashback, it's revealed that Xavier knew about these z'noxemas things for months, and he needs time to prepare to fight them. Coincidentally, The Changeling (who you may remember from issues 37-39, when he was the second-in-command of Factor Three until Factor Three turned out to be an evil alien plot, then he turned and ran? Yea, THAT GUY!) visits Xavier and reveals that he is dying with only months to live. He says he wants to make amends for, you know, for almost selling out humanity to an alien from the Sirius star.
Knowing that he needs time to disappear to continue researching the z'nox, Xavier asks the changeling to assume his identity so that he can die so Xavier can fake his own death! Now THAT'S what I call turning lemons into lemonade. (Even if it is turning someone else's lemons into your lemonade ... then drinking it ON THEIR GRAVE!) Eager to please, The Changeling (looking like Xavier) dies [Issue #42 -Ed.] and the real Prof X slips off to hide somewhere to prepare for this alien invasion. GOT ALL THAT?!
And now that he's back, Xavier is ready to train the X-Men like they've never been trained before.
|I sure have missed you. Dick.|
BUT, back to that cunnin' plan:
The X-Men will rocket aboard the aliens advance craft. From there, Cyke will act as a weapon, to strike out at the approaching alien planet. Back on earth, Professor X will gather together as many human minds as he can and send their collective "good thoughts" through Lorna and up to Jean. She will then take those good vibes and hand them off to Havok. He will boost them with his powers and dump the energy into Cyclops's head. Iceman will continually cool Cyke's head, so it doesn't overheat and boil his brain. [I must say that the idea of having Iceman there as coolant is a nice touch. And it's a great way to overclock your CPU, too.]
THEN, Scott will shoot all that positivity out at the z'nox home world. That will have some kind of effect against a PLANET. So it's a simple, yet effective, plan (OK, it's an overly complex and possibly not effective at all plan! C'mon! It's like a mutant game of mousetrap! That stupid diver misses the tub and the mice go free.) All the good feelings from Earth are too much for the aliens, who have been bred to be meanie baddies.
|Gooood, goood, goood, good vibrations!|
This emotional blast overloads the z'noxes brains with happy thoughts, so they break off their attack to go to find somewhere else to bother. The world is safe once more.
The last couple of pages made this story seem longer and grander than it actually was,which was nice. Good to see that they've finally learned how to tell an epic story in one issue, rather than have to play it out. This changes everything because now I'll feel like even the one-shots can contain something great. Too bad this turning point happens in the penultimate issue before this original series is cancelled!
As for Stan's proclamation at the start that it's a "pertinent message for the modern world" ... I guess? I mean ... if you think that positivity can kill aliens!
Also, wasn't a similar solution employed in the finale of the Doctor Who season with The Master? Hippies, the lot of you!