X-Men: Phoenix End Song #4

Issue Date: 
May 2005
Story Title: 
Phoenix Endsong - part 4

Greg Pak (Writer), Greg Land (Penciller), Matt Ryan (Inker), Justin Ponsor (Colorist), Clem Robins (Letterer), Sean Ryan (Assistant Editor), Nick Lowe (Associate Editor), Mike Marts (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief) Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Kid Omega continues his mission to use the Phoenix to resurrect the dead Sophie, while the Shi’ar plan to destroy Kid Omega claiming he is too powerful as Storm and Nightcrawler try to convince them otherwise. The Phoenix Entity holds Cyclops in her grasp, using his optic blasts to power itself, while Wolverine, the White Queen, Beast, Shadowcat, Archangel try to defend Cyclops. The X-Men know that the Phoenix thinks it wants Cyclops for love, because Jean Grey used to want him too. Cyclops has Kitty ready to crush his heart. The Phoenix says things that Scott knows he wanted Jean to say, until Emma re-enters the fray, offering the Phoenix her help, as the Phoenix cannot get Cyclops on her own. Before Emma can let the Phoenix consume her, Kitty grabs her, reminding everyone that Emma was once one of their greatest enemies, until Wolverine talks Kitty out of it. The Phoenix consumes Emma, and while it gets used to the new form, Cyclops grabs her and seals them both in the containment egg. Inside, Emma / the Phoenix bathes in Cyclops’ optic blasts, while Beast monitors the egg, assuring everyone that no cosmic energy is escaping. But after a while, Emma can no longer contain the Phoenix, she is not strong enough for it, and adding to complications is the arrival of Quentin Quire at the Phoenix’s location.

Full Summary: 

High in the air, Quentin Quire flies, carrying the skeleton of Sophie of the Stepford Cuckoos. Quentin Quire a.k.a. Kid Omega realizes that he is moving too fast for her and tearing her apart. He tells Sophie that he is so sorry, so stupid. Quire tells Sophie that it is ahead of them on the mountainside, that they found it so it will be all right. He adds that soon they will find the Phoenix and she can give them all the power that they need. Quentin assures Sophie that she won’t be dead much longer, that she will live and breathe, walk and talk and look into his eyes and say “Quentin, I understand, I forgive you and we’ll be boyfriend and girlfriend and -” Quire gets back to reality, ‘First we’ll put your arm back on’.

Aboard a Shi’ar space craft, the helmsman informs his commander that the Omega Quentin Quire is close. The commander orders the helmsman to initiate the weapon, to which Storm a.k.a. Ororo Munroe, senior leader of the X-Men tells him he must stand down. The commander points out to Storm that Quire could host the Phoenix and could destroy her entire galaxy. Storm tells the commander that he cannot kill Quire for what he has not yet done. The helmsman informs the commander that they are almost upon Quire, to which the commander gives him permission to fire when ready. Lightening surges around Storm, and Kurt “Nightcrawler” Wagner, her friend and teammate tells the Shi’ar that Storm did warn them.

Outside, Quentin lowers himself and Sophie’s body to the icy landscape. Quire remarks that Sophie may not be as good as new, but that the Phoenix will fix her, but suddenly, Quentin realizes that the Phoenix is stuck in the snow…dying? Clutching the body of his beloved Sophie, Quire informs her that he can hear them, they are fighting her - hurting her. Unbeknownst to Quire, the Shi’ar ship, surrounded by lightening, hover just above him. Quire can hear Emma “the White Queen” Frost telepathically inform her lover and teammate Cyclops a.k.a. Scott Summers that she is here to back him up and not to worry, as the Phoenix is weak, it cannot beat them. ‘But I can,’ Quire mutters to himself.

Nearby, the Phoenix tells Scott to open his eyes. Surrounded by fire, Cyclops discovers the Phoenix is using telekinesis, as his friend Dr. Henry McCoy a.k.a. the Beast urges Scott to fight it, as the Phoenix wants the power of his optic blasts, therefore he mustn’t use his power. Scott calls out to Emma, who replies that she is here protecting him telepathically, adding not to worry, as it is weak and cannot beat them. ‘But I can’ declares Quire entering the White’ Queen’s mind. Emma screams, and Quire tells Scott to open his eyes.

Powerful optic blasts are released from Scott’s visor, with Scott claiming that it is forcing him to do it. The Phoenix revels in the power, Yesss! Moooorrree!’ she cries. Quire smiles and with a green glow in his eye, tells Sophie that everything is going to be all right.

The Shi’ar vessel crackles with electromagnetic energy surging in and out of it, and the commander calls for status. The helmsman replies that the Phoenix fused all of their gun turrets directly to the hull, so if they fire, they will destroy themselves. When the commander asks where the Omega is, the response is that he is directly below them. When the commander orders the helmsman to bring him his sword, the helmsman does so, as Storm asks him if he will never stop.

The commander informs Ororo that his counselor believes the Phoenix comes to purify the universe, burning away what doesn’t work. He reveals to Storm that his wife, children and his parents and grand parents all died with five billion others when Dark Phoenix ate the D’Bari’s star. As the commander prepares his sword, he says to Ororo that if she wants to tell him that his family were a genetic obsolescence, a cosmic blot, part of an unravelling that the Phoenix was designed to correct, then she is insane as the Phoenix herself. With that, he leaps out of the vessel, down to the terrain below.

Emma telepathically calls to Scott, asking him if he can hear her, she reveals that she cant move, and is about to say who she thinks is responsible, when Quire greets her. Emma telepathically replies, telling Quentin that he is being very naughty, she insists he release her immediately. ‘So you can kill the Phoenix? I’m afraid I can’t allow that’ responds Quire. Emma tells “Kid Omega” that this is not negotiable, adding that five billion people died last time, she asks him if he wants to be responsible - Quentin interrupts, telling Emma that she doesn’t understand. Emma asks Quire if he remembers open day, to which Quentin replies ‘Yes…No! For Sophie, I’m going to make it all better!’ Emma screams at Quire, telling him that the Phoenix is killing them, she asks him to let her go. ‘No’ replies Quentin.

Cyclops is still pouring his optic blasts into the Phoenix, and asks Hank where Emma is. The Beast replies that Emma is down, but Archangel is using his healing. Cyclops replies that there is no time, as the Phoenix is growing stronger and taking over - ‘You have to stop me!’ he yells. Beast mutters that this is insane, but Wolverine a.k.a. Logan tells him that there is no time for thinking, so Beast lets out a roar, as both men leap into battle - only to be blasted back in a burst of flames by the Phoenix. Warren Worthington the Third a.k.a. Archangel calls out to his close friend the Beast and leaves Emma to fly to him. Yes…. exclaims the Phoenix smiling.

Suddenly, Nightcrawler bamfs out in front of Quire and punches him in the face - ‘Bad boy!’ exclaims Kurt. Emma telepathically thanks her teammate, before calling out to Scott. Cyclops responds, as Emma assures him that she is here, and telepathically stops him using his optic blasts. No! I need more! screams the angry Phoenix, engulfed in her cosmic fire as Emma mutters ‘It’s always about you, isn’t it?’ Scott calls out to Emma as the Phoenix turns and pushes her back by just pointing at her. Cosmic energy surges all around the Phoenix in a grand display, making Kitty “Shadowcat” Pryde quite nervous. Scott tells the young X-Woman not to worry, as he has a plan. ‘Yeah, good. A plan would be good’ replies Kitty.

Nearby, Quire shrugs Nightcrawler off, flicking him backwards and tells Sophie not to worry, as the Phoenix is stronger. The Shi’ar commander approaches Quire with his sword, but Quire just flies off, remarking that the Phoenix will fight them, that she will get what she needs to live. Suddenly, Kid Omega is struck by a powerful bolt of lightening. Storm flies towards Quire who boasts he and Sophie will soon get what they want, when suddenly, he senses that the Phoenix is doing something different.

Back at the main battle, the Phoenix tells Scott that she came for him, that she needs him. I’m your wife. With Kitty at his side, Scott replies that his wife is dead, and as Kitty phases her hand into Scott’s chest, Scott warns the Phoenix that if she takes one more step Shadowcat will crush his heart and he will be dead too. ‘This is your plan?’ asks Kitty. ‘I do my best’ replies Scott. The Phoenix tells Scott that if he doesn’t want to look at her, she understands - after all, how many times has she died? How many times has she broken his heart. It’s not natural, its not fair.

The Phoenix assures Scott that she is here, and claims that she always will be both with him and within him. She reminds Scott of how he dreamed of her when he was an orphaned child - how his heart jumped the day they met, adding that she knows he will reach for her hand the day he dies. I love you, Slim. Kitty turns to Scott, ‘Whoa, your heart…’ ‘Pretty jumpy, huh?’ replies Scott, before exclaiming that it is Jean, the way he wanted to hear her, during those long months when everything was falling apart - those were the words, that was the voice he was aching for.

Tears begin to fall from underneath Scott’s visor as he tells Kitty that is also how he knows that thing is not Jean - because Jean knew that they were over, she moved on and so did he, he found someone in this world, in the here and now. Scott calls out to Emma who is being tended to by Archangel. ‘Oh, now you remember me,’ mumbles Emma, before Warren informs Scott that he is almost done healing her.

The Phoenix grins wickedly and tells Cyclops that Emma isn’t the one, that he knows that deep in his heart, Now come on, Scott. It’s time. Look at me. Scott tells Kitty to squeeze, but Emma telepathically cries ‘No!’ and uses her powers to knock Kitty back into the snow. ‘That little…’ mumbles Kitty, as Scott looks at Emma and smiles. Your heart…. ‘Now that’s a real jump, wouldn’t you say?’ asks Emma smugly understanding the Phoenix was surprised at how Scott’s heart jumped for her. For you? asks the Phoenix, turning to Emma.

The White Queen reminds the Phoenix that she needs the power of Cyclops’ optic blasts to survive, so suggests she just pins to him the ice and tear his eyelids open with her mind. ‘Why are you standing in the snow talking about love?’ Emma exclaims that she thinks she understands what is going on, that this is not Jean Grey, but she remembers Jean, remembers what she used to want, so this Phoenix is thinking that she wants Cyclops too.

Emma tells the Phoenix that Scott doesn’t want her because he doesn’t want Jean, therefore she cannot get what she wants…’by yourself anyway’ Emma adds with a scandalous smile. As Emma walks over to the Phoenix, Kitty exclaims ‘Emma, you did not just offer yourself as a host for the Phoenix Force!’ ‘Hush head, the grown-ups are talking’ Emma snaps back, when suddenly Kitty phases her hand into Emma, immobilizing her and telling Scott that it is his call.

Emma tells everyone to trust her, but Scott, Wolverine, Warren and the Beast just look, as Kitty reminds Scott that this is the White Queen talking, someone who was their enemy. ‘And you want to let her take the power of the Phoenix?’ Wolverine tells his former sidekick to let Emma go, as she smells all right. Kitty does as she as told, muttering ‘That’s just the Chanel’. ‘Dior, darling, always Dior’ Emma replies smiling. Scott tells Kitty that she is a good girl, but Kitty just mutters that there are too many guys on this team.

Emma looks at the Phoenix and declares ‘All right, then. Take me’. The Phoenix approaches Emma, and in raptor form, devourers her in a spectacular display of cosmic fires. Emma’s outfit is transformed in the process, and now she is surrounded by the cosmic flames, when suddenly, Cyclops leaps at her and shoves both he and Emma into the egg that Beast had designed earlier, with Beast slamming the door shut behind them. Quentin Quire calls out to the Phoenix, asking her where she went, as Shadowcat exclaims ‘Wow. Now that was a plan!’

Beast monitors the egg and informs everyone that there is no trace of escaping energy, so it is working so far. Kitty replies that it is awesome, before asking how long it is going to take to drain away “the Phoenix thingy“. There is a moment of silence before Hank explains to Kitty that the egg doesn’t drain, it contains, seals up the Phoenix’s psionic energy, preventing it from affecting the outside world. Kitty asks how they are supposed to get Scott and Emma out of there, but when Logan, Hank and Warren look at her, she understands, and utters ‘oh’.

Inside the egg, Scott and Emma embrace, and Scott tells Emma that she should have let Kitty kill him, then the Phoenix would have starved and died in the snow, but Emma reminds him that Quentin is coming, so it wasn’t an option, as who knows what the two of them could have done together. The White Queen smiles and informs Scott that she wanted to get him alone - ‘so we could do this…’ she exclaims as she removes Scott’s visor.

Emma smiles as she is bathed in optic blasts, but Scott asks her what she is doing, telling her that she has got to fight it. Emma replies that it is all right, that they are safe in here and can let go. Noticing the egg go bright red, Beast tells the others that it is all right, that the egg is holding and that this is just normal thermal energy, no Phoenix energy is escaping. Kitty asks what it is that is going on in there, before exclaiming ‘Ewww!’ when she figures it out.

Emma and Scott telepathically tell each other that it is perfect, and according to the Beast, so are the readings, as they are pointing to the same thing - within the egg there is an equilibrium. ‘Okay, I’m just going to keep saying “what” until you start making sense’ Kitty says to the Beast. Hank explains that Scott’s eyes are pouring forth what seems to be an unlimited amount of energy, and this energy is now feeding the unlimited hunger the Phoenix seems to possess - they have found their purpose. ‘Have they?’ asks Kitty.

Warren declares that the Phoenix Force and the force behind Scott’s eyes have found their purpose - but asks what about Emma and Scott. Suddenly the remaining X-Men cry out as something attacks them. Quentin Quire takes Sophie’s body and flies away from Storm, Kurt and the Shi’ar commander, muttering ‘I heard that. Really, Miss Frost. What were you thinking?’

Inside the egg, Emma screams too. Scott asks her what is wrong, and Emma replies that she cannot do it, the Phoenix inside her is burning her up, burning her out. She admits that she is not strong enough, even as Scott urges Emma to fight it. Suddenly, the Phoenix asserts itself, No. We’ve found it, finally Scott. Love. We’ll never stop!

At the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, the three living members of the Stepford Cuckoos - Mindee, Celeste and Phoebe - exclaim in unison ’Watch out!’

Back in the Arctic, the ice around the containment egg begins to crack. Wolverine unsheathes his claws as Quentin Quire arrives with the dead Sophie in his arms - ’Hello, everybody…what’s in the egg?’

Characters Involved: 

Jean Grey / Phoenix IV

Phoenix Entity

Beast, Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, Storm, White Queen, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Archangel (former member of the X-Men)

Celeste, Mindee, Phoebe (Stepford Cuckoos)

Body of Sophie

Quentin Quire

Commander, Counselor and Helmsman of Shi’ar crew

In Illustrative Image

Jean Grey / Phoenix


Story Notes: 

Jean “Phoenix” Grey died in New X-Men (1st series) #150.

This cover is a homage to Uncanny X-Men #136.

For more on Open Day, see New X-Men (1st series) a.k.a. X-Men (2nd series) #135-138.

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