The burst-copy reads:
"Phoenix ALONE... against the most fearsome foe of all!"
From here on out, it might be fun to pretend that the comic is always referring to the University of Phoenix! Online courses... and super powers!
Hmmm... nope. No, that wasn't fun at all. Never mind.
So, I read, somewhere, that reading on your phone, right before bed, interrupts your sleep cycle and makes you sleepy.
But, anyway, why is Phoenix going this battle "ALONE"? Because her x-pals all decided to take naps. Probably because they interrupted their sleep cycles, reading comics on their iPhones, right before bed.
They certainly were not "Thinking Ahead" (which is the actual motto of the University of Phoenix. Look it up!)
Arriving home from their adventure on Moira's Mutant Island (See Last Ish - Ed), the X-Men are greeted at the airport by Eric The Red (ETR). Was he wearing a chauffeur's cap and holding a sign that says "X-Men"? No. Instead, he's wearing a hat that's not a hat at all, but a crazy on-fire dude named FIRELORD and holding a sign that says "DIE!" (How's THAT for a metaphor?!)
This Firelord guy is such a flaming-Q-Tip-wielding bad-ass that he just levels the X-Men, as if it ain't no thing.
|He attacks by announcing "I am Galactus' former herald...!"|
Which is like me introducing myself by saying, "I once worked at a dollar store!" (True story.)
What have I done lately?
Why is Firelord attacking? Settle in and let some lengthy, flashback-exposition to illuminate: It's because ETR has tricked him into thinking the X-Men are evil. To pull THAT off, ETR mind-jacked Polaris and Havok and puppet-mastered them into attacking Firelord. Once those two were flattened - we're made to think they were killed, "off-screen" - in comes ETR who says, "Good job killing those evil X-Men, let's go kill some more!" And Firelord is like, "Once I pop, I can't stop!" or "You can't kill just one!" or some other riff on a potato chip slogan and goes off too do the X-Men beat down we've already seen. Time has caught up with itself.
With all of the X-Men out of the way, nothing stands between ETR and Prof Xavier's death! Muhahahahah. Or something.
Now, let's jump to space!
I mean let's follow the story, as it jumps to space. Please don't try to literally jump to space. (Two broken legs and a nosebleed later, trust me, it cannot be done by normal humans.)
|What kind of spacebug is that? A Firefly?|
In space, no one can hear you scream over too-thick plots! Dig it: The woman (Lilandra) who Xavier has been having painful premonitions about is actually the princess and sister to the ruler of some planet that is not Earth. She wants to see Xavier in the worst way, because she thinks he can help her, and it's her desire for him that is literally driving Xavier mad. Love hurts.
MEANWHILE, her Evil Brother's plan was to send Eric The Red (we still don't know who's under the mask) to Earth to kill the X-Men, before Lilandra can get there and recruit them. And THAT'S how they explain the varied hair-brained schemes to kill the Xes that we've been seeing in the last couple of issues.
So, the princess / spacewoman / Lilandra beams down to Earth from her spacebug ship and directly into Jean Grey's living room (where Professor X is visiting for lunch)! Within moments, Firelord busts in like a flaming Kool-Aid Man and starts with the fisticuffs (like a drunk Kool-Aid Man... that is like a Kool-Aid man that's been drinking, not one that's been drunk by a thirsty kid (it's an occupational hazard and a VERY clever play on words, if I do say so myself)). Jean - who, it must be pointed out, so I will, was NOT on the Moira Island Adventure with the rest of the X-Men - Phoenixes up and beats him back. "Want a quality online education? Phoenix Up!" (Unused University motto.)
Meanwhile, ETR sneaks into Jean's place, ZOTs Jean's roommate (who is Misty Knight, if that name means anything to you guys), grabs Lilandra, and jumps through a space portal (that he covertly built on Jean Grey's apartment's roof, at some point?!).
[IMAGE OF PORTAL WOULD GO HERE, BUT MARVEL.COM IS BEING A JERK!]
This portal takes them immediately back to Lilandra's alien home world! Yes, Lilandra spent the better part of the last six issues - about a YEAR in the run of the comic book and the lives of the reader - travelling to Earth, only to go back immediately. Was that trip really necessary?
Even though the portal closes behind them, Phoenix, who is fresh from kicking Firelord's heinder, reopens it using her new powers. Convenient! (Just like the 112 convenient campus locations of the University of Phoenix!)
Did I mention that while all this is happening, Jean's parents were in town for a visit? Yeah. So they're around to hear Xavier say that he's probably sent their daughter off to her death... but that that's OK, because, Xavier continues, everyone else in the universe is probably going to die, too! Stay positive!
Also: I forgot to mention that Chris Claremont wrote himself and artist Dave Cockrum into this comic:
So there's that.