Classic X-Men #9

Issue Date: 
May 1987
Story Title: 
<BR>Like A Phoenix, From The Ashes ! (1st story)<BR>The Gift (2nd story)

Additional pages of First Story :
Chris Claremont (writer), Tom Morgan (penciler), Sam Grainger (inker), Michele Wrightson (colorist), Bill Oakley (letterer), Ann Nocenti (editor), Jim Shooter (editor in chief)
Second Story :
Chris Claremont (writer), John Bolton (artist), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Ann Nocenti (editor), Jim Shooter (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

First Story :
The main story is a reprint of X-Men (1st series) #101.
Second Story :
While waiting at the hospital for any news on Jean‘s condition, Nightcrawler becomes aware of a young boy, who shouldn’t be around at that late time. He introduces himself and learns that the boy‘s name is Daniel Cameron. He tries to cheer him up all night and finally manages by showing him circus tricks and juggling. In the morning he brings him home and shows him his true appearance. Daniel is not shocked at all, they hug and agree to later meet at the hospital, but once there Kurt learns that Daniel Cameron died of cancer during the night. He was talking to a ghost and it was the boy who cheered up him, not the other way around.

Full Summary: 

First Story :
This main story reprints X-Men (1st series) #101, however there are three additional pages covering the time between the scenes at Kennedy airport and the hospital :
While Nightcrawler extends the range of his image inducer to render the X-Men invisible to the firefighters and medics, Peter Corbeau lets himself get found as the sole survivor of the crash. He makes up a story about the space station having been hijacked by terrorists, and all of the crew besides himself were killed. Storm uses her powers to blow the smoke in their directions, so that the X-Men can leave secretly.
Storm flies to the mansion and swiftly packs some civilian clothes for everyone to wear. She flies back to meet with the others in Manhattan. Along the way she thinks about Jean and wionders what happed to her, if she now is no more a human being, but a goddess like she was worshipped in Afrika.
The X-men take a limousine to New York hospital, where Xavier has friends among the staff. He uses his telepathy to ensure that the driver thinks of them as a normal fare. Cyclops wonders how they will take off Phoenix’s costume for examination, as it is appartently one pice from neck to toe. Suddenly the costume changes into normal clothes. Xavier is impressed by this act of molecular reorganisation.
Second Story :
It’s 3 a.m., and the X-Men are at New York hospital, waiting for any news on Jean’s status. Their teammate and friend remains unconscious in a coma and it is unknown if she will survive. The X-Men are either asleep or lost in thoughts. Kurt looks out of the window and sees a young boy sitting on a bench beneath a tree. He wonders what a child is doing out there at this time and decides to investigate. He teleports out, on top of a street lamp and watches as the boy gets spooked by a bird that was making noise in the tree. The kid gets angry at the biord, and also is happy that noone was around to see and laugh at him, but suddenly Kurt laughs on top of the lamp. With his dark skin, the X-Man is barely visible and suddenly he teleports away, only to appear behind the boy and now looking human thanks to the image inducer.
He asks what the boy is doing there in the middle of the night, and he replies that he is waiting for someone. Kurt assumes that a relative or a friend must be a patient in the hospital, and asks him to get inside, but the boy says that kids aren’t allowed into the hospital, only when they are sick. Kurt is unsure what to do, he can’t leave the child there, but he doesn’t where he belongs. A security guard finds them, and says that the plaza is closed for the night and they should go elsewhere.
Kurt takes the boy to the hospital’s cafeteria. They introduce each other, the boy says his name is Daniel Cameron. Kurt offers him cocoa and food, but the boy doesn’t want any. Kurt tells him that a good friend of him is in the intensive care ward in critical condition, yet she is lucky in some way, as she is unconscious and doesn’t have to spend the time waiting. Daniel says that it isn’t much better when you are sick, only there is more at stake than losing a friend. Kurt understands that the boy must have been sick himself, and says that he really shouldn’t be up and around at that time, but Daniel replies that he was the perfect little boy who stayed hom his whole life, though it didn’t do him any good. When asked about his parents, he says that they know where he is. Kurt doesn’t believe him, and says that he will take him home.
Yet they can’t find a taxi, but when Daniel says that it isn’t far, they decide to walk. Nothing that Kurt says seems to reach the boy, but then he has an idea. He tells him of the circus and to prove he walks on his hands. Daniel is impressed, but then suddenly runs into Central Park, saying that it’s a short cut. Kurt teleports across the park and waits for Daniel to show up. The boy sure is suprised, but runs one more, only to find Kurt again waiting for him on a bench. Daniel finally stops and asks how he manages to outrun him every time and Kurt says it‘s magic. Kurt then pulls a few tennis balls from his pocket and starts juggling, and he makes the boy try it too.
Time passes and the sun rises. Danial is trying to hard and can’t juggle, but Kurt tells him to try once more before the go and this time he manages to keep the three balls up. Finally Kurt has achieved what he was trying to do, Daniel is laughing. He takes him home, and they agree to meet later again at the hospital. Right before the boy goes inside, Kurt asks him to stop. He switches off the image inducer and reveals his true appearance. Daniel is not shocked at all, in fact he finds it impressive and fantastic. They hug, and Daniel says that Kurt’s friend at the hospital will be fine.
Later that day, Kurt is at the hospital and asks a nurse about Daniel Cameron, but she says that he is too late. The boy died of cancer the last night. Kurt understands that he was talking to a ghost, and that it was not him who cheered up the child, but the other way around.

Characters Involved: 

First Story
no additional characters that weren’t already seen in X-Men #101
Second Story :
Banshee, Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Storm, Wolverine, Professor Charles Xavier (all X-Men)
Moira MacTaggert
Daniel Cameron, a boy who dies of cancer

Story Notes: 

The back-up story is set in between the events of Uncanny X-Men #101.

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