Ultimate X-Men #71

Issue Date: 
August 2006
Story Title: 
Phoenix?: part 3

Robert Kirkman (writer), Ben Oliver (pencils), Jonathan Glapion (inks), Jason Keith (colors), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters), Brad Johansen (production), Nicole Boose (assistant editor), John Barber (associate editor), Ralph Macchio (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

The X-Men continue to battle the Brotherhood at the Academy of Tomorrow. As Scott and Elliot face the Blob together, he is about to reveal what his team is after, but for some reason, suddenly stops talking. Elliot works magnificently together with the other X-Men, and increases his powers so that the Blob ends up defeated. The rest of the Brotherhood ends up beaten not too long afterward and are rounded up by SHIELD agents. As the media arrive on the scene, reporters interview Elliot and give him the codename of “Magician.” The reporters air the battle on television channels everywhere, and the X-Men become popular once again. Meanwhile, at Xavier’s, Jean is going crazy and really believes that she is The Phoenix. She is ready to kill Lilandra, but is stopped by Professor Xavier. Xavier uses his telepathic powers to shut Jean’s mind down, giving her time to come turn back to normal. Lilandra’s assistant, Gerald, has discovered some files at the Church headquarters, which indicate that Jean’s parents were members of their organization once, too, and also strongly believed in the existence of the Phoenix. Gerald believes that they must have told Jean stories about this when she was a kid and, when her mutant powers manifested themselves, her mind must have used this as a liability to make it easier for Jean to accept her new appearance. Jean can’t accept that she is just crazy. The Professor asks both Lilandra and Gerald to leave, and they do so. As the X-Men return home, so does Nightcrawler. Peter tries to ask Kurt where he went to, but Kurt just ignores his former friend by teleporting away. The Professor informs Scott about what happened and he goes to visit Jean in her room. Jean, however, wishes to be left alone and goes to sleep, imagining that little, green goblin-like creatures are crawling over her body. Later, at the Church headquarters, Gerald leaves the building and is called by a mysterious person. This person is interested in finding out what happened with Jean, and if she is the Phoenix or not. Gerald admits that he strongly believes that Jean is the Phoenix and, that with this news, they can return the Hellfire Club to its former glory!

Full Summary: 

The Academy of Tomorrow…

A furious Blob shouts that, when he discovered his mutant power, he got all this fat, though it’s incredibly dense. It increased his mass to unimaginable levels, which means that if he’s stopped… he’s unmovable and unstoppable! And now, the Blob moves towards the X-Men, which means they’re screwed! He hardly punches his fist into the ground, creating a loud noise and a crack in the ground. The X-Men lose their balance, but Elliot remains standing. While Colossus continues to face the Multiple Man, Elliot faces the Blob alone. He uses his powers to create a hole in the ground, and the Blob falls into it!

On that moment, television reporters arrive. Rogue wonders who alerted these guys. She mocks that she can already see the spin now: “mutant picnic puts reporters in danger!” Elliot uses his powers to close the hole, trapping the Blob in it. Elliot sarcastically asks the Blob if he’s okay in there, realizing that there isn’t much oxygen. Elliot bets that Blob can’t even hear him. But the Blob fights his way out of the hole and immediately punches Elliot out of his way.

Cyclops orders everyone to stand back, thinking it’s better that they regroup. He fires an optic blast, but gets grabbed by Toad’s tongue and the blast accidentally hits Iceman. Suddenly, Storm gets an idea and shouts to everyone wearing an “X” on their costume to hold on to something. Ororo creates a powerful whirlwind, knocking the Toad off of Scott’s back. Scott, quickly getting up, fires another blasts and takes the Toad down. Blob punches Colossus away from the Multiple Man and shouts that the party is just starting!


Jean, filled with a fiery rage, wonders what she should do first. With glowing eyes and surrounded by fire, she slowly walks towards a scared Lilandra. Jean thinks that she’s going to fry Lilandra from the inside out, starting with her non-essential organs, working her way up to Lilandra’s heart and brain. Jean wants to feel most of what she’ll do. She still doubts about what to start with though: the gallbladder maybe, or the pancreas? Jean mentions that she hears a person can live at least a few hours without their kidneys. She wonders if that’s true if those kidneys are melted.

Lilandra claims that this… this isn’t how it happens. This isn’t how it works. She claims that Jean doesn’t just become the Phoenix… it doesn’t… Jean can’t just blink an eye… it takes time. Lilandra believes that Jean is just confused and that this isn’t happening. She begs Jean to stop.

Jean pushes Lilandra against a wall. She reminds Lilandra that this is what she wanted. She wanted her glorious fiery god and, now, she is here for her. Lilandra asked for this. Lilandra woke the god up and Jean can’t believe Lilandra is actually scared right now. She wonders what kind of faith that is. Lilandra sickens her, telling her that her ancestors would weep at her ineptitude. Jean suggests Lilandra to put her out of her misery.

The Professor enters the room, shouting at Jean to stop doing this at once. Jean, holding Lilandra by her throat, claims that she is no longer here. Now, there is only the Phoenix! Xavier claims that Jean is just confused and orders her to stop. He doesn’t want to hurt her. Jean, calling Xavier a mortal, smirks that if he had the ability to hurt him, she would have killed him long ago.

The Academy of Tomorrow…

Rogue warns Cyclops to look out, as she throws some charged up play-cards at the Blob. Blob smirks that Scott sure has some brave girls on his team, and he tells Rogue, calling her a traitor, that those new skills won’t help her a bit.

A reporter asks her cameraman if he’s getting this, because if he isn’t, she’ll never sleep with him again.

Scott fires yet another optic blast, but it doesn’t even hurt the Blob. He wonders why Scott even bothers; because he’ll never be able to stop the Brotherhood from… from… the Blob hesitates from finishing his sentence. He concludes that Cyclops doesn’t have to mind what he just said. He knocks Rogue out, and focuses his attention to both Scott and Elliot now. Scott orders Iceman to tend to Rogue.

Elliot, holding his powers ready, smiles that it’s time the Blob gets a physics lesson. He explains that mass is constant. It remains the same under all conditions, no matter what the variables are. Weight, however, does not. He wants to see what happens when he decreases the gravity around the Blob by ninety-five percent! The Blob knows exactly what will happen: he’ll crush Elliot’s head like a grape!

Elliot doesn’t think so. He uses his powers to give his fists enormous strength, and punches the Blob towards Colossus’ direction. Peter grabs the warning, and punches the Blob away again, right back to Elliot. Elliot kicks the Blob away now and tells Cyclops to get him some extra lift. Scott understands and fires an optic blast and the Blob. Elliot smiles that all he needs to do now is restore normal gravity around the Blob now. He does so, and the Blob loudly smacks back onto the ground.


The Professor tries to reach Jean telepathically, telling her that he won’t let her hurt Lilandra. Jean claims that Xavier is out of his element here. She shouts that Xavier is but a speck of dust in comparison to her. She wants to see how powerful Xavier’s brain is once it’s been liquefied and is pouring out of his nose. Xavier’s nose start to bleed, and he feels the pain coming. Holding himself together, Xavier begs Jean not to do this.

Jean shouts that begging won’t get Xavier anywhere. Xavier asks Jean to listen to him. Telepathically, Xavier admits that he loves Jean. He succeeds in entering Jean’s mind, and suddenly… Jean is back to normal for a moment. Uncertain what’s going on, Jean calls out to Charles. Xavier apologizes for doing this to Jean. He enters her mind again, and suddenly, Jean loudly screams and faints, releasing Lilandra from her holding grip.

Lilandra takes a few moments to catch her breath again, and moves over to Charles, noticing that he fainted as well. Charles wakes up again, admitting that he’s okay. He had to shut down Jean’s brain. He had no other choice. He sure hopes she’ll be okay.

Gerald walks into the room, asking Majestrix Lilandra what happened. Lilandra smiles that she’s fine, thanks to Professor Xavier.

Emma Frost’s Academy of Tomorrow…

SHIELD has arrived to pick up the Brotherhood boys. Storm is surprised how fast SHIELD got there. Scott agrees with that, adding that the same counts for the reporters. This whole thing felt weird, and he wonders why the Brotherhood was even there. Iceman, holding his hand over Rogue’s shoulder, thinks it might be to take revenge against Emma’s students, who helped prevent Magneto from breaking out of prison. Rogue thinks that all that matter is that the Brotherhood didn’t succeed in their mission. Scott guesses so, and looks over to Elliot, who’s being interviewed.

Elliot explains to the reporters that he’s just trying to do the right thing. He adds that the X-Men want the world to see that not all mutants are terrorists or pose a threat in any way. In fact, he concludes, the X-Men would like to reassure humanity that they are on their side since they protect humans and mutants alike.

Scott walks over to Warren, and asks how they are treating him over here. Warren replies that things are just fine, and that everything was going smoothly until today. Scott is sorry about what Xavier did to Warren, as he hates the fact that Warren isn’t at the school anymore. Warren smiles that’s okay because he actually kind of likes it here. Besides, he doesn’t know if he could stand being at the school without Ali. Scott understands.

An angry Emma runs out of her Academy. She shouts that apparently she can’t leave this school for one night. She even thinks Xavier is behind all this. She demands to know what’s going on and where her chaperones are. Alex sighs, confident that they are going to hear about this later. Lorna agrees with that. Scott notices his brother and coldly says “hi” to him, to which Alex does the same thing. Lorna looks away from Scott.

Scott tells Peter that, if he wants a ride home with the rest of the team, he’ll have to be over at the X-Wing by the time he rounds up the rest of the crew. Peter understands that. As Scott walks off, Northstar smirks that this has been a hell of a first date. Peter smiles, as he can only agree with that.


Gerald helps the Professor back into his wheelchair and asks what happened. Lilandra doesn’t know. She’s going to have to consult the ancient tomes, but she thinks they may have just witnessed a pre-visitation. Jean wakes up, though with a bit of a headache. She too wants to know what happened.

Lilandra freaks out and begs Charles to do something. The Professor tells Lilandra she can relax: this is his student they are talking about and he knows how to handle this. He asks Jean if she’s okay. Jean takes a while to answer the question, but eventually answers that she thinks she’s going to throw up. The Professor promises that they are okay. For now, at least. He also promises Lilandra that there’s nothing to worry about, as that he can shut down Jean’s motor functions if she acts up.

Gerald still wants to know what happened, and what Jean did exactly. Lilandra explains that the things Jean said, they were so horrible… but her powers. Jean seemed to be taken over by another force. Lilandra is afraid that power must have been the Phoenix. Gerald apologizes to his Majestrix, but he believes that simply can’t be the case. He studied the completed analysis on Jean’s blood… and it contains none of the properties enumerated to them in the tomes. Jean can’t be the Phoenix. Gerald realizes that this isn’t anything close to conclusive on the matter, but he did some research on the Grey family. He asks Jean if she is aware that her parents were members of the Church of Shi’ar Enlightenment.

Jean takes a look at Gerald’s files, and wants to know what he’s trying to say and what these files are. Gerald explains that those are evidence of Jean’s parents’ involvement. He doesn’t believe Jean has anything to do with the Phoenix. He thinks Jean may have heard some stories when she was very young. And, when her powers began to manifest, her mind couldn’t comprehend them… so he thinks Jean’s mind used what it could remember oft the Shi’ar religion to construct something she could understand.

The Professor wants to know what Gerald is implying. Gerald thinks that Jean constructed split personalities to help her deal with having mutant powers. Nothing more. Jean angrily shouts that Gerald can’t possibly think she’s crazy. She defends she isn’t crazy! Xavier telepathically calms Jean down. Jean drops to her knees, almost crying that she isn’t crazy. Xavier asks Lilandra to leave the school. As both Lilandra and Gerald leave, Jean quietly whispers that she isn’t crazy.

Some time later…

Kitty hears the X-Men coming home in the hallway, and meets up with them. She wonders what took the guys so long, because they have been all over the news! The X-Men are popular again! This means they can be on talk shows again, and this time it will include her. Kitty thanks the new guy for this. Elliot introduces himself as Magician, as that’s the name the reporters came up with. Storm wants to know if Logan came back yet. When Kurt arrives back at the school, Peter tries to talk to Kurt, asking where he has been. Without saying a word, Kurt simply ignores Peter and teleports out of sight.

Scott meets up with the Professor alone, wondering where Jean is and if she’s done with those tests. Visibly concerned, the Professor thinks he and Scott should probably talk. Scott asks what’s wrong.

After the Professor has told his story, Scott goes to visit Jean in her room. The room is completely dark, and Jean lies on her bed, still wearing her uniform. Scott asks if she’s okay. Jean doesn’t answer at first. Keeping her eyes closed, Jean tells Scott that he can relax. She is surprised that Charles didn’t tell him. The test results were negative: she isn’t the Phoenix. She’s just crazy.

Scott doesn’t want Jean to say that. He asks if he can do anything for her, anything that will make her feel better. Jean tells Scott that he can leave, as she just wants to be left alone. Scott does so, not realizing that Jean is imagining that little green goblin creatures are covered over her body…

The Church of Shi’ar Enlightenment Headquarters…

Gerald wishes a good night to Lilandra, and walks outside. He gets a phone call and tells the caller he’s free to talk. He promises the caller that it’s not a mistake, as he doesn’t make mistakes. He explains that the analysis matched perfectly. Everything that was supposed to be there, was there. He has no doubt in mind. He’s positive that this young woman named Jean Grey is definitely the Phoenix. He admits that Shaw was a madman, but he was right. Once outside the building, Gerald agrees with the mysterious caller that, with this knowledge, he’s certain they can return the Hellfire Club to its former glory.

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Cyclops, Iceman, Magician, Marvel Girl, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Rogue, Shadowcat, Storm (all X-Men)

Blob, Multiple Man, Toad (all Brotherhood of Mutants)

Angel, Emma Frost, Havok, Northstar, Polaris (all Academy of Tomorrow)

Lilandra Neramani

Gerald (Lilandra’s assistant)

several SHIELD soldiers (all unnamed)

people at the Church of Shi’ar Enlightenment headquarters (all unnamed)

several TV reporters (all unnamed)

mysterious green creatures crawling over Jean’s body (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

The Blob calls Rogue a traitor because, after the Brotherhood rescued her from Weapon X, Rogue joined the villain group for a while until ending up with the X-Men.

When they were just founded, the X-Men were popular for some time amongst the public, and guest-starred on several television shows and were even interviewed. However, all that changed when it was revealed Xavier didn’t kill Magneto as he made the crowd first believe, and in return Magneto was on his way to destroy the entire human race.

No real reason is given why Mastermind isn’t with the Brotherhood anymore during the battle in this issue. It could be that he uses his illusion powers to escape unnoticed again, just like he did during the Ultimate War mini-series, or there is something more mysterious can be behind his departure.

Of Jean’s parents, only her father John has been seen in Ultimate War #3 and in no other issue at this point. Nothing of his past was revealed in said issue, except that he was very worried about Jean’s wellbeing and practiced gardening for a hobby.

First time Elliot Boggs uses the codename Magician, given to him by reporters. Before this issue, Elliot’s codename was only revealed in the Marvel solicitations.

Wolverine is at this point still fighting the Hulk in the Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk miniseries.

It’s unclear if the little green creatures that are crawling over Jean’s body are real, or just part of her “crazy imaginations.”

Sebastian Shaw, the leader of the Hellfire Club, was killed in Ultimate X-Men #25.

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