Ultimate X-Men #96

Issue Date: 
September 2008
Story Title: 
Absolute Power, part 3

Aron E. Colette (writer), Clay Mann & Brandon Peterson (pencilers), Carlos Cuevas & Brandon Peterson (inkers), Edgar Delgado (colorist), Comicraft’s Albert Deschesne (letterer), Gabriele Dell’Otto (cover artist), Anthony Dial (production), Lauren Sankovitch (assistant editor), Bill Rosemann (editor), Ralph Macchio (senior editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

What happened to Jean Grey when she mysteriously vanished some months ago is finally revealed - she was searching the cosmos for Heaven. Today though, Jean leads the remaining X-Men - Storm, Iceman, Beast, and their ally Firestar - in a training session against some robots, during which Iceman and Jean discuss her new Godhood status, before a cry for help from Nightcrawler summons Jean’s astral form to Genosha, where the defected X-Men - Cyclops, Colossus, Rogue, Angel, Dazzler and Nightcrawler - are intercepting the Acolytes’ supply of the drug Banshee, as they want it for themselves. Scott sees Jean’s astral form and unleashes his powers on her, causing Jean to tell her X-Men that they have to stop the others. Meanwhile, Shadowcat and Spider-Man are taking down some Screamers - Banshee addicts, when Wolverine shows up, asking for Spider-Man’s help, explaining that he tested positive for Banshee even though he never took it. Wolverine and Shadowcat discuss their feelings while Spider-Man does some tests, eventually revealing that Banshee was created from Wolverine’s DNA. Jean soon summons Wolverine to meet her and the others. Meanwhile, in Siberia, where the defected X-Men are going through withdrawals. Colossus expresses his sadness at losing Northstar, while arguing with Cyclops, just before Jean’s X-Men reveal their presence, and both teams attack each other. During the battle, Jean hallucinates and is “visited” by her deceased father, and much of their history is revealed, while Professor Grey tells Jean that he doesn’t want her to resurrect him. Jean returns to the battle, but unconscious, just as Wolverine rips Colossus’ heart out!

Full Summary: 

(Flashback, takes place between Ultimate X-Men #93-94)

Two months ago…Jean Grey a.k.a. Phoenix soars through the cosmos, ‘I defeated Apocalypse. I saved the world. And still - it wasn’t enough. There’s always something more to do…’ she thinks to herself. Some aliens monitor her as she soars casually past them.

One month ago…Jean is a brilliant streak of gold, flickering across the red--blue sky above a planet where some rocky aliens are praying.

One week ago…in deep space, a voice suddenly calls out ‘That’s far enough, Jean Grey!’. Jean comes to a halt, hovering before a Silver Surfer who floats on a board. The Silver Surfer informs Jean that the Watchers have seen her actions, and reveals that they disapprove. ‘You have no idea of the havoc your flight has caused. Wars are being waged in your name. Races are committing suicide in your honor!’ the Silver Surfer announces, before ordering Jean turn return home immediately.

‘No’ Jean replies, simply. ‘Then your fate is sealed!’ the Silver Surfer replies as he blasts Jean with some energy. But Jean blocks it, explaining to the Surfer that she is looking for something which she knows is out there. ‘Once I find it, I’ll be on my way. I promise’ she assures him. The Silver Surfer retracts his power as he asks Jean what could be so important that she risks so many lives. ‘What are you looking for?’ he asks. ‘Heaven’ Jean reveals, frowning.


Give them HELL!’ Jean screams inside the Danger Room at Xavier’s School for Gifted Children, where Iceman, Storm, Beast and Firestar are engaged in a training session against some large robots. Cosmic energy pulses around Jean, while Storm fires lightning bolts, Iceman zips around on an ice-sled while firing icicles, the Beast leaps from robot to robot while reading a book, and Firestar blasts one of them with her energy beams. Jean tells the others that their enemies won’t five up, so neither should the X-Men. ‘You have to push yourselves harder. You have to be better!’ she declares as she tells them that there is an unlimited potential inside of them which they do not even know exists. ‘You must find it!’ she exclaims.

Firestar mutters that ever since Cyclops left, Jean has been a real pain her “tuchas”, ‘Like permanent PMS’ she adds. Storm reminds Firestar that Jean can hear her, to which Firestar replies ‘She can read my thoughts, too. And those are much worse, Storm. Much, much worse’. Iceman tells Firestar to give Jean a break, pointing out that she doesn’t want any more of the ex-X-Men turning to the drug, Banshee. ‘So I have to suffer? Training six hours a day?’ Firestar complains, adding that she should be on Facebook, not learning how to singe a squirrel’s nuts at two miles out. ‘I’m sure the squirrel would prefer that, too’ Iceman jokes.

Suddenly, a giant phoenix-raptor claw shoves Iceman to the ground. ‘Stop joking around, Bobby!’ Jean exclaims, warning him that, one day, his idiotic behavior is going to get someone killed. ‘Like dying really matters anymore’ Bobby replies. ‘What’s that supposed to mean?’ Jean snaps. ‘You can bring any of us back from pushing up daisies. Just like you did with Angel. Remember?’ Bobby remarks. ‘That’s not the point!’ Jean declares. ‘Isn’t it? Seriously. Why train when you’re our own personal get out of jail card’ Bobby remarks. ‘That’s not the…not the…’ Jean begins, causing Bobby to call out to her, before she screams.

Jean hears a voice in her head, and her astral form suddenly finds itself in Hammer Bay, Genosha, where Nightcrawler teleports around Jean, ‘Thank God you heard me - we need your help. You have to save us!’ he exclaims urgently. Jean tells Nightcrawler that he doesn’t need her help, reminding him that he has the Banshee. ‘The drug made you super-powerful. You can make short work of these Acolytes!’ she tells him, motioning to where powered-up Cyclops, Colossus, Rogue, Angel and Dazzler are fighting some Acolytes. But Nightcrawler replies that they don’t need saving from the Acolytes. ‘You have to save us from ourselves!’ he declares.

Nightcrawler explains to Jean that they are not here to take down the Acolytes, they are intercepting their shipment of Banshee. ‘We’re addicted. Totally out of control!’ Nightcrawler admits. ‘Then say something. Do something!’ Jean tells him. But Nightcrawler tells Jean that she doesn’t understand. ‘Colossus and Cyclops are -’ he begins, before admitting that he is so afraid.

In the Danger Room, Jean hovers, although motionless, in the air, as Iceman calls out ‘Hello? Earth to Jean? Come in, Jean?’ while Firestar asks what happened to her. ‘She was fine one second - then she totally tranced out. I get it. This is a test. Is this a test?’ she asks. Bobby replies that he doesn’t know and tells Firestar to help him keep Jean alive, ‘She’s gonna be super-mad if we let her die!’

‘You’re not supposed to be here, Jean!’ a voice calls out. Jean’s astral form turns around and sees Scott “Cyclops” Summers, flying near her. ‘Scott? You can see me in my astral form? You can fly?’ Jean asks. Scott tells his girlfriend that he can do a lot now, informing her that every part of his body is charged by solar energy, not just channeled through his eyes, but funnelled into every fiber of his being. Jean tells Scott to stop. ‘You don’t know what you’re doing…don’t forget why you went with Colossus! You have to stop!’ Jean exclaims.

‘Did she just call you Scott?’ Firestar asks Bobby as she blasts one of the robots. Bobby replies that he thinks Jean is talking to Cyclops, and calls out to her once more, asking her to wake up. ‘Wake up!’ he shouts. Cyclops tells Jean that he finally understands what Jean feels. ‘The power’ he declares, adding that he is never going back, before letting out a wide-beam optic blast at full-force, sending Jean careening, causing her to lose hold of her astral projection, and bounce across the Danger Room, where the Beast tells her to go limp, assuring her that he has her. ‘Hank, his mind was so…intoxicating’ Jean whispers. ‘All of them - Scott, Kurt, Peter. We have to stop them. Or else…they’re going to kill themselves!’

Meanwhile, in New York City, specifically, the Bronx, ‘All right you Screamers put up a good fight, but me and the Kitty Cat are taking you down!’ Spider-Man exclaims as he takes on some thugs. ‘Screamers?’ asks Kitty “Shadowcat” Pryde, Spider-Man’s crime-fighting partner, and former X-Girl. Spider-Man explains that he called them Screamers because they are Banshee addicts. ‘Get it?’ he asks, before remarking that it is all over the street. ‘What street is that?’ Kitty asks. ‘The street’ Spider-Man replies. Kitty asks Peter if he just made that up, ‘And what if I did?’ Spider-Man asks. ‘Proves your lameness’ Kitty tells him.

‘You take offense to Screamers, but it’s okay to use a word like “lameness”?’ Spider-Man asks Kitty. ‘Lameness is a totally acceptable word in our nomenclature’ Shadowcat tells him as most of the Screamers are finally taken down. One large man remains, holding a vial of Banshee to his head, he is about to inject himself while Spider-Man tells Kitty not to nomenclature him, assuring her that Screamers will totally catch on the more people use it. ‘Lameness’ Kitty mutters, while the Screamer boasts that he only needs one more dose of Banshee and then he is gonna kill them - until he cries out in pain as three powerful, razor-sharp adamantium claws are shoved into his chest. ‘You’re welcome for saving your lives and yes - there is something you can do to repay me’ Wolverine a.k.a. Logan of the X-Men announces.

Sometime later, in Forest Hills, Queens, Spider-Man sits a desk, examining something through a microscope, while Wolverine stands in the doorway and Kitty sits on a bed. Logan reveals that he tested positive for Banshee, only he swears he never touched the stuff. ‘I need to find out why’ he tells the young heroes. ‘Why me? Why not Reed Richards or Bruce Banner? Banner’s all about the drugs’ Spider-Man replies. Logan points out that Banner and Richards would turn him over to SHIELD, and reminds Spider-Man that he has been inside his head. ‘You’re a freaking genius’ Logan tells him. ‘Oh, stop it, Wolverine. You’re gonna make my lens get all blurry!’ Spider-Man jokes.

Wolverine turns to Kitty and remarks that she hasn’t said two words since he showed up. ‘You think I’m guilty?’ he asks her. ‘You think I dosed?’. Hanging her head, Kitty replies ‘No…I…’, before telling him that the things he wrote in the letter that Iceman gave her, ‘I never knew that you felt that way. I never knew…’ she exclaims, leaping at Wolverine and giving him a hug. ‘You’re welcome’ Logan smiles, while Peter suddenly lifts his head up from the microscope and announces: ‘This is amazing!’

Peter reveals that the reason why Wolverine is testing positive for Banshee is, ‘well, because you are Banshee!’ Peter exclaims, telling Logan that the root drug is based on his DNA. ‘Literally. Someone’s using you’. Peter asks Wolverine if he is going to kill him. ‘Is he gonna kill me?’ he asks Kitty. ‘No. Not you’ Logan replies angrily. Suddenly, Jean telepathically contacts Logan, informing him that they have found Colossus and Cyclops and are going to end the whole Banshee trade right now. Logan looks out the window and sees the X-Men’s jet. Kitty asks him if she can come with him, but Wolverine turns her down. Kitty assures him that she can handle herself. ‘It’s not that…’ Wolverine tells her. Kitty puts a comforting hand on his shoulder as Logan tells her that he doesn’t want her to see what he is going to do when this all goes down.

Meanwhile, at the Urst-ordansky Collective, Siberia, Russia. Colossus trudges through the snow, carrying a large bear, he opens a barn and tosses the bear to the floor, ‘Dinner’s served’ he tells Cyclops, Rogue, Angel, Nightcrawler and Dazzler who are huddled around a fire. ‘Pete - we need to talk’ Scott tells Colossus. They stand away from the others as Cyclops tells Colossus that he is pushing them too hard. ‘They can handle it!’ Colossus retorts. ‘They can’t!’ Cyclops tells him, remarking that they are barely surviving here, and they need to be ready. ‘They’re coming…’ Scott warns him, and reminds him that the last batch of Banshee they got from the Acolytes wasn’t pure. ‘Let’s go to your supplier’ Scott suggests.

‘Who? We can’t. We have no money!’ Colossus replies, adding that this will have to do. Scott reveals that Nightcrawler contacted Jean, and assures Colossus that he handled it. ‘But Jean’s Jean. The X-Men…’ he remarks, to which Colossus assures him that the X-Men couldn’t handle this team. ‘You’re being paranoid’ he tells him. Scott replies that he is not paranoid and tells Colossus that Jean is hell-bent on shutting down all Banshee production. ‘Why would you think that?’ Colossus asks Scott, to which Scott reveals that he was helping Jean, and that he only came here to stop him. ‘I was going to betray you!’ he admits.

‘You what?’ Colossus demands, grabbing Scott’s throat with his powerful steel grip. ‘You traitorous piece of -’ Peter begins, until Scott interrupts, blasting Peter with an optic beam, Scott frees himself, assuring Peter that he is on his side. ‘I believe in the good that we are accomplishing. But we have to be perfect here - or someone else is gonna -’ he begins, until Colossus interrupts, ‘What? Die?’ he shouts.

‘That’s not what I was going to say’ Cyclops replies, to which Colossus exclaims ‘It’s what you’re thinking. It’s my fault Northstar’s dead. If I was stronger - I could’ve saved him…I could’ve…’ Colossus mutters, before his massive steel form collapses, falling flat on his face. Suddenly, everyone turns as a new voice is heard in the barn: ‘Looks like the tin man needs an oil can. Or at least a warm blanket!’. ‘Bobby!’ Cyclops exclaims, to which Iceman replies ‘Not just Bobby…and his Amazing Friends…or do I need Spider-Man for that?’ he jokes.

Suddenly, Jean, Wolverine, Bobby, Storm, Beast and Firestar leap into action, while Cyclops, Rogue, Angel, Nightcrawler and Dazzler do the same. ‘X-Men…attack!’ both Jean and Scott tell their teams. Cyclops blasts Jean across the barn, while Wolverine is confronted by Dazzler - who has her own “solid light” claws. Nightcrawler teleports all around Firestar, confusing her, while Angel attacks the Beast. After taking Dazzler down, Wolverine turns his attention to Rogue, while Storm casts lightning bolts around the now-awake Colossus. ‘Stop! Everyone stop!’ Jean screams before Cyclops bashes her head into the ground.

Cosmic energy begins to swirl throughout the barn, ‘Just…stop!’ Jean tells everyone. ‘Wow. You are powerful’ Jean turns and sees a man walking towards her, through the cosmic flames. ‘Sorry to interrupt…’ the man begins. ‘Dad? But you’re…’ Jean begins. ‘Dead. I know. I heard you were looking for me. Went searching for Heaven and everything. Why?’ Professor John Grey asks. Jean walks over to her Dad, telling him that she can save him, that she can bring him back. ‘I’m not coming back, Jeannie’ Professor Grey tells his daughter. ‘Yes - you are. I have the power’ Jean exclaims.

(Shown with flashback illustrations)

Professor Grey reminds his daughter that he was never a good father. ‘I didn’t know what to do or say, so I said nothing’ he remarks, recalling a time where he was busy reading the newspaper while an infant Jean played on the floor behind him. Professor Grey reminds Jean how he devoted himself to his work, always busy, always with work to do, but negligent, as he was hiding from Jean. ‘And you know it. And it hurt’ he reveals, recalling a time when Jean, a little older, had drawn a lovely picture, but he wasn’t interested in looking at it. Another time, Jean received an A+ on a school assignment, but Professor Grey was too busy talking on the phone to pay any attention. ‘I never gave you what you needed. Love. Kindness. I wasn’t capable…but you always tried to please me’.

‘You hoped that if you tried harder, if you pushed yourself further, that I might change. Even as I lay dying!’ Professor Grey tells Jean. ‘Eventually you found what you needed. But it wasn’t me. It was never going to be me’ Professor Grey tells Jean. ‘I died too young. We never got a chance to see if we could actually have a relationship. And that’s always plagued you. But the truth is…nothing would’ve changed’ Professor Grey reveals.


‘You only think you should save my life. Always the dutiful daughter. But, it’s not what you really want’ Professor Grey tells Jean, who replies ‘You’re wrong. I can save you. I will!’ Professor Grey tells Jean that she can’t, but that it is okay, as he deserves no less. ‘You reap what you sow. Right?’ he remarks. ‘NO!’ Jean cries, cosmic energy pounding around her, while her father tells her that the harder she tries, the more she fails, and that if she is not careful, all her friends, the X-Men and Scott, are going to suffer. ‘Save them!’ he tells her. Jean cries, before falling back down to reality.

‘Jean!’ Wolverine calls out, while Colossus catches her before she smacks into the ground. ‘The Banshee. It’s all your fault!’ Wolverine tells Colossus. ‘All this pain! All this suffering! I’m going to kill you!’ Logan exclaims as he begins slicing his claws against Colossus’ chest. Suddenly, Colossus calls out to Logan, softly: ‘Logan…what have you done?’ Colossus asks, his chest cut open, and he holds what appears to be his heart, in his hands…

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Beast, Colossus, Cyclops, Dazzler, Iceman, Marvel Girl/Phoenix, Nightcrawler, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)




Unnamed Acolytes


In Flashback
Phoenix / Jean Grey

A Silver Surfer

Various Alien Races

In Jean’s Hallucination:

Jean Grey at various stages

Professor Grey

Charles Xavier

Story Notes: 

Jean Grey mysteriously vanished at the end of Ultimate X-Men #93 following the battle with Apocalypse, only to re-appear, none the worse for wear, in Ultimate X-Men #94. This explains what happened to her during that time.

Angel was killed by Sinister in Ultimate X-Men #90, and resurrected by Jean in Ultimate X-Men #93.

Northstar, Colossus’ boyfriend, apparently died in Ultimate X-Men #95.

A major continuity error is featured here, as Jean’s father is shown to have died before Jean became involved with Xavier - however, Professor Grey was shown very much alive in Ultimate War #2, and, he looked remarkably different from how he is depicted in these flashbacks and in Jean’s hallucination.

Issue Information: 
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