X-Men: First Class Finals #4

Issue Date: 
July 2009
Story Title: 
The Mind of Jean Grey

Jeff Parker (writer), Amilcar Pinna (pencils), Roger Cruz (finishes) Val Staples (colorist), Blambot’s Nate Piekos (letterer), Cruz & Staples (cover), Paul Acerios (production), Mark Paniccia & Ralf Macchio (consulting), Nathan Cosby (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive Producer)

Brief Description: 

Cyclops explains that he believes Jean has been subconsciously manifesting the Juggernaut and the junkpile they fought earlier. It felt like the dreams of hers which they have all been sucked into. Xavier is anxious when he hears that Jean has been ambient dreaming, as she may be the most powerful psychic in the world. He then telepathically takes all of them into her mind where they relive their old adventures, though Jean always casts herself into the role of the one saving the rest. They soon realize that Jean keeps pushing herself and cannot stop, but finally does so when Scott breaks Jean out by kissing her. Together, the whole team enables her to confront their enemies and beat them in her mind. The reason for her need to keep on saving them becomes apparent – it is her traumatic childhood memory of witnessing her friend Annie die, the event that triggered her telepathy when she was a child. Jean decides to stay at Xavier’s to work on that problem and Xavier invites Scott to stay on as well, as he needs someone to train the next class of students. After the graduation ceremony, the X-Men immediately embark on a last mission together to an island named Krakoa…

Full Summary: 

The X-Men stare at Jean Grey, slumbering on the couch. What does Scott mean that Juggernaut was Jean? they ask confused. Did he take a shot to the head, too?

He should have realized it sooner, Scott Summers explains. When they fought the Magneto-shaped junkpile, it felt familiar. Then, when “Juggernaut” smashed through, he realized what it was. It felt the same as when… well, lately Jean has pulled them into her dreams. Not on purpose. What? Xavier asks agitated. Jean has been ambient dreaming and they didn’t think to tell him? Ambient what? Warren asks. It seemed a natural progression of her powers which has been asserting itself lately, Hank points out.

Except, Jean is potentially the most powerful psychic in the world, Xavier argues. He thought that was Xavier? Scott replies. He’s nothing compared to what Jean may become. If she doesn’t kill herself first.

Guess he’d better get in there and see what’s what, Warren suggests. Indeed, Xavier agrees, but then decides differently. They should all do this. He’s not always going to be around for things like this… and it sounds like they’ve all navigated her mind as much as he. Who knows when they will all be together again? Let’s handle this as a team.

They agree. Bobby whispers something into Xavier’s ears and he agrees that would be appropriate. A moment later, they stand in a wide area with floating islands. They are all wearing their X 2.0-uniforms. He has a feeling his mind isn’t this big, Bobby announces.

Scott is surprised Bobby thought of the uniforms, considering that Scott is the one who misses them. He takes off his visor. He guesses he won’t need this here. They can do whatever they want, Bobby points out.

Xavier, who is able to walk in their shared memory, warns them not to think of this place as real. This isn’t like the other times they’ve looked inside someone’s mind. In Jean’s mind, thoughts are as substantial as anything in the physical word.

They visit her last memory, of the group talk before the Juggernaut force hit. Now this is trippy, Angel remarks.

After the conversation, the X-Men walk through Jean’s mindscape. What do they make of the situation so far? Xavier asks them. Hank replies that Jean’s subconscious clearly summoned a strong defense to deal with Frederick when she couldn’t. Why Juggernaut? Angel wonders. He’s unstoppable, Cyclops points out. She went for results. Bobby points out that when Juggernaut showed up again earlier they weren’t in trouble. And that junkpile Magneto was actively attacking them, Angel muses, if she caused that too, of course. He thinks so, Scott replies. When Hank took the metal a bigger distance away from her, it couldn’t rebuild itself anymore.

Bobby still wonders why Jean would let herself get hit when she’s doing it. Cyclops suddenly shouts a warning at Angel, for something green in the air is jumping towards him – the Hulk! Thanks to Scott’s warning, he manages to dodge him. The Hulk lands, tearing a crater into the ground. Hulk will smash army kids, he threatens.

Cyclops fires an optic blast at the Hulk that goes right through him. Jean, stop thinking about the Hulk! Angel shouts.

The Hulk lifts a boulder, threatening to smash them. Now it’s her turn, Jean suddenly announces, appearing out of nowhere. She telekinetically lifts him and pinwheels the Hulk.

He doesn’t remember her doing that, Angel remarks. Xavier explains that it’s human nature to embellish their memories, for better or worse. This is something Jean should strive to correct. As a mentally enhanced mutant, it’s important that her mind be disciplined, objective. Telekinetically, Jean propels the Hulk away.

Dr. Strange shows up, ordering them to stay behind. He must go and restore their friends or they could be lost forever!

The scenery shifts to the landscape where… as Bobby recalls, Warren and Hank got turned into weasels. He was a bird, Warren corrects him.

Scott asks Xavier why these memories are mixed up together. He can’t answer these things for them, Xavier replies. It’s the new unhelpful professor, Bobby exclaims.

That moment, Cyttorak emerges from the ground. Who? Bobby mutters, after Cyclops shouts his name. Aw man, he’s tired of explaining who Cyttorak is to him, Angel laments.

Jean rises up, telekinetically battling Cyttorak while Angel does his spiel: Cyttorak is this demon thingie – Juggernaut got his power switched on by it but now the Jugg is trapped in his dimension. Yeah, he’s never going to remember that, Bobby admits.

Having beaten Cyttorak, Jean is on the way to another emergency. Hank recalls that they went back to Dr. Strange’s house after that and had that tea that made Warren break out into a rash. It was good though, except for the rash, Warren admits.

Warren flies after Jean and Iceman slides. Cyclops observes to Xavier and Beast that they have the same mobility issues here as in the real world. Do they? Charles asks. No, Beast realizes and flies up. Xavier follows, assuring Scott his limits are purely his own.

Okay he can do this, Cyclops tells himself and begins to rise with closed eyes to only a few inches above the ground. Hank tells him to rise up.

All of them are slowly getting there, along with their there changing again, this time to Monster Island, complete with monsters which Beast is having trouble dodging.

They find Jean again, locked in psychic battle with Mastermind who tricked them onto the island. Okay, Bobby protests, now she is taking credit for the Professor’s fight. That isn’t right! He doesn’t think she means to, Xavier suggests.

With Mastermind beaten, Jean flies off again, shouting help is on the way. She is flying, something she always wanted to do, Scott observes. They follow her into the jungle.

In the jungle, they find Jean rescuing Beast and Angel from the Lizard. Beast recalls it didn’t happen this way. Jean wasn’t even with them.

Jean slams the Lizard against a tree, warning him not to hurt her friends again. Bobby tries to reach her, telling her they are all okay.

She ignores him and levitates the hippos out of the way. Bobby shouts that the hippo attack happened in Africa, the Lizard in Florida! But she doesn’t respond. Xavier decides to intervene.

Jean tells Bobby to get out of the water and she will put the hippos back. Xavier telepathically tries to reach her, but she ignores them all. Warren wonders how she can tune them out. They are already in her mind, after all. She can’t seem to come awake in this dream state, Xavier observes. He’s had dreams like this, Hank muses where events and memories keep looping… racing to the next scene. Usually, he wakes up tired as if he never slept…

Good analysis, Xavier commends him. That’s exactly what is happening. But he would wake up after a few hours. Jean has the mental energy to go through this for far too long. Perhaps longer than her body can stand.

Scott looks at her, worried. He walks towards her and kisses her. Jean begins to react and utters his name, before hugging him. The power of luuv, Warren remarks wit a thumbs up.

Confused, Jean asks where the river is. Scott explains that they are all in her mind. He wants her to wake up. Xavier adds they are concerned about her safety. Scott adds she’s been fighting threats. At first it seems she did it to help them, but now they are hurting. Mostly they are hurting her.

They think she is causing…? Jean begins to ask. A car drives by in the background unnoticed.

That moment, Juggernaut races towards them and she shouts a warning. She tells Scott they have to move. He’s unstoppable! It isn’t Juggernaut, it’s her, Scott insists. She can make him stop. No! she cries panicked. He’s not alone. There’s so many more!

And suddenly, in front of them are all the threats they faced, Magneto, the Brotherhood, Sentinels, the Hulk, Frederick, all the villains and monsters they have fought. Bobby asks Jean to make it stop. She can’t. They keep coming. Xavier tells her she can and must. This can affect them here. To her, this is very real, so it will be real.

He knows she can do it, Scott tells her. This is what she’s been trying to do. She’s been hunting down everything that can hurt them in her memories. It’s fear and she has to face it.

Jean agrees. She does. She can. She closes her eyes, walking towards the villains who do nothing and disappear. But that moment, the car again comes from behind driving towards Jean. It crashes against her. Of course, Xavier realizes.

Yeah, he remembers the time they all went up against that car, Bobby remarks sarcastically. Boy, that was some adventure! No, Jean corrects him. This is just her memory. A fear of hers, she guesses, she never let go… She kneels down opposite a younger version of herself. When she was ten, a friend of hers was killed. It made her powers manifest early. That’s when the professor found her. He helped her lock it away for a while until she was ready to deal with it.

Younger, Jean fades away as present Jean realizes that she sees a lot of things in the light of that day. Danger coming… unstoppable… wanting to hurt everyone she loves. She didn’t know it was eating her so much. She hopes facing it here will make it stop in the real world.

Xavier offers to work on this with her. But he would need her to stay on at school for a while. And he would also like anther graduate to remain as well for when they are ready to take on a new class. Both Jean and Scott agree happily. Then he supposes he should say, congratulations!

And so, a little later, the X-Men celebrate their graduation. So when are they going to do the real ceremonies with their family? Jean asks. Next month, Scott replies. They had to schedule around Warren’s parents. As far as he is concerned, this is the real ceremony, Hank insists. They toast to the fact that they will always be X-Men, making Xavier very happy.

One hour later, Xavier calls them. Cerebro has discovered what may be the most powerful mutant on the planet. He’s sorry to bring this up on this day, but… The team however is enthusiastic and so they head out to the Pacific Ocean, to an island called… Krakoa.

All right, they are going to the beach! Bobby shouts.

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl (all X-Men)

Professor X
in Marvel Girl’s mindscape:

Dr. Strange




The Lizard




Frost Giants


Mad Thinker




Ten-year-old Jean

Story Notes: 

The memory of the conversation is from last issue.

The X-Men fought the Hulk in X-Men: First Class (2nd series) #5.

Dr. Strange helped them in X-Men: First Class (1st series) #3.

They fought the hippos in X-Men: First Class (1st series) #8 and the Lizard in #2.

More about Jean’s childhood trauma can be found out in Bizarre Adventures #27 and X-Men Origins: Jean Grey.

Again the ending of the story doesn’t really chime with established continuity: Actually, the X-Men graduated way back in X-Men (1st series) #7. There was no talk of them intending to leave before the Krakoa incident. And, of course, in the adventure with Krakoa (leading to the establishment of the all-new, all-different team in Giant Size X-Men #1) Havok and Lorna Dane were present – whereas Beast was not.

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