While doing my research to construct a killer "Apocalypse Now" joke (yes, I research my jokes) about this cover, I found that that film was released in 1979 - a full two years after this issue hit news stands.
Therefore, it is possible that that very famous and respected movie is nothing more than a rip off this X-Men comic!
BOTH feature a main character (or characters) being transported to a far-away place: "up river" in "A.N."; "The World" in X-men!
BOTH have a beefy "main boss": Colonel Kurtz in "A.N."; Modt (see below) in X-Men!
BOTH feature Oscar-winning sound effects by Walter Murch!
The similarities are uncanny ... wait, "uncanny"? UNCANNY X-MEN?! Whoa! This is getting spoooooky!
After "The Blink" that erased the entire universe (for just a couple seconds, so calm down, it wasn't THAT bad (See Last Issue --Ed.)), everyone else on "The World" (it has no name, it's just where a giant crystal lives) has disappeared, leaving only the Starjammers and the X-Men. However, the guardian of the M'Krann crystal has appeared. His name is Jahf. Which is like "Jeff"! (For the two readers who are not directly related to me, that's my name. That's why this is of note. I'm "of note"!)
Unlike me, Jahf is super strong, and he proves it by punching Wolverine into orbit. This is not a figure of speech! Wolverine LITERALLY has to be rescued, before he dies in the vacuum of space, because he was punched there. Could someone strong enough to punch another person into space have an Achilles' heel that the X-Men can exploit? Yes. The answer is yes: Overhearing Jahf mumble something about "his programming", Banshee realizes that Jahf is a robot (again, unlike me... yes... UNlike... heh bzzzt ping) and so, uses one his patent-pending Banshee-blasts of sound to short circuit the wee bot.
No sooner is Jahf a short-lived memory, than Modt appear! Modt is also robot, super strong, and nothing like me, either - but he's also HUGE. Also unlike Jahf, he (it?) looks like a robot. Which I think should be applauded. Just be yourselves, guys. Stop pretending.
|A thousand times stronger?! That'd mean this guy could punch a thousand Wolverines into space... at once!|
Before Modt can punch everyone into space (I am unsure if that is Modt's plan, but I assume ... I mean, if you CAN punch someone into space, why wouldn't that be your go-to "move"?!) and before Banshee can come up with another "look at me, I'm so clever" plan to defeat this second guardian, Mad Space Emperor D'ken appears. Where was he, this whole time? We barely have time to contemplate this plot-hole before one of the Starjammers flips out on him and screams something like, "I'm going to toss you onto the M'Kraan crystal!" ... and then he does just that!
Tossing an emperor into the M'Krann crystal causes everyone to be instantly transported into the crystal, where they discover... another crystal! This new crystal is a sphere, though, so it's totally different. This one is also giving off a light... a CRYSTAL LIGHT! BOOM! Buzzmarketed.
Anyway, since the X-Men have made so many bad decisions, so far, what's one more? Jean decides to touch this strange, new crystal, because touching the last one had such great results! The good news is that touching it doesn't transport everyone into a THIRD crystal-in-a-crystal-in-a-crystal - cuz that would be silly - but the bad news is that the crystal does shoot out beams that mind-freak everyone and show them their worst nightmares.
|Do you suffer from Night(crawler) Terrors?|
Since Jean is now an undead elemental monster dressed in a human suit, called Phoenix, she is impervious to everything - including the terror-ray - and breaks free, then tries to free the others. Too bad Scott, wrapped up in nightmares of... I dunno, poorly-folded socks or something, ZOTS her with his eye-ZOTS, punching a hole straight through her. Or, rather, he attempts to ZOT a hole through her, but, again, she is a terrifying monster from outer space wearing Jean's skin, so she can just knit herself back together, like it ain't no thing. She's her own Neosporin.
Shaking off having just been cored, she uses her monster-powers to enter this new sphere crystal-inside-a-crystal, and finds a lattice of energy. And inside the energy lattice is whole 'nother universe. It's all quite exhausting and complicated.
Realizing that this inner-most piece of this crazy stacking crystal-and-universe matryoshka doll is an "n-universe", which, if allowed to escape, would destroy the universe (which is where she keeps all of her stuff), Jean decides to contain it by feeding it more energy. Because giving things more energy is always the way to calm them down. Want your kids to stop running around the house? Give 'em coffee.
Even though she's an unbelievably super-powered element-monster, "Jean" still doesn't have enough power to complete the task, so Storm says "Use mine, it's cool" and Jean is like "It'll probably kill you, so let's get Scott's dad, Corsair, in on this too, maybe it'll kill him, as well!" And everyone's like *thumbs up*.
WAIT! Corsair is Scott's dad?! TWIST!
|Major Summers?!? More like MAJOR SPOILERS!|
The big climax ends kind of abruptly (consult your doctor) when Jean fixes the lattice-within-the-sphere-within-the-crystal. Poof. Solved. Next thing you know, she and all the X-Men are popping out of a stargate back in Manhattan like, "All in a day's work! So... Chipotle?" Space Princess Lilandra tags along, too, and she's all, "I love you Xavier." Aw, romance.
Some more on Lilandra: Now that her brother, Emperor D'Kan, is insane - being hurled, bodily, into the M'Krann will do that to you, I guess? - she's in charge of her still-un-named space people. (Though I'm pretty sure they're the Sh'iar, but I only know that because I can see the future.) However, she's decided to take a vacation, first, and hang on Earth with Mr. X. A sex vacation. (Would it have been better if I'd said "on sabbatical? A SEXbatical!"? Probably!)
The book ends with a dedication to the memory of Dave Cockrum ... then Dave Cockrum adds, "I'm not dead". It's weird.