X-Men: Phoenix End Song #5

Issue Date: 
June 2005
Story Title: 
Phoenix Endsong - part 5, conclusion

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: 

Wolverine engages Quentin Quire in battle while Beast and Shadowcat defend the egg housing the Phoenix, Cyclops and Emma, however Quire manages to crack it, at the same time as Emma gives in to the Phoenix’s power which she cannot handle. The X-Men turn their attention to stopping the Phoenix, but Quire manages to intrigue her, and they protect themselves from the others. The Shi’ar learn that Quire has claimed the Phoenix and begin the Endsong as they prepare for an Event Horizon, to destroy both the Phoenix and Quire, which Storm does not object to. Storm and Nightcrawler leave the Shi’ar to be with their friends, and watch as the Phoenix resurrects Sophie, who learns that Quentin expects her to be his girlfriend. Sophie is disgusted and kills herself, causing her sisters who are watching telepathically to jibe Quire, who goes insane. The Phoenix proceeds to leave in Emma’s body, until Storm stops her temporarily. Cyclops and Wolverine agree that they need Jean’s help, and as Scott blasts the ice where Jean is frozen, she emerges, firstly freeing Emma from the Phoenix’s hold, before she once again bonds with the Phoenix, to her friends’ protests. Cyclops informs a cosmic Jean that he knows why she came back, and with the help of the Stepford Cuckoos Emma uses her powers to telepathically “bring” the other X-Men to Jean, including Polaris, Rachel and Xavier. Various images of Jean’s time with her friends are seen, before Jean creates a new white and gold outfit for herself, just as the Shi’ar launch their Event Horizon, killing everyone. Cyclops finds himself elsewhere with Jean, and Cyclops fills Jean with assurance of who she is, and optic power. The X-Men wake, knowing that Jean saved them, and they saved her. Quentin dissipates and returns to his tank at the Institute, while later, a firefly lands at the window of the Stepford Cuckoos. One of the Cuckoos wakes up and asks the firefly what took it so long….

Full Summary: 

‘Come on, Mister Logan, Do we really have to go through all of this?’ asks Quentin Quire a.k.a. the Kid Omega as he holds the body of his dead “girlfriend” Sophie of the Stepford Cuckoos. Wolverine a.k.a. “Mister Logan”, and Warren Worthington the Third a.k.a. Archangel lunge at Quire, even as Quentin informs them that they are flesh and blood, so they cannot hurt him. He boasts that he is going to crack their little egg, take the Phoenix and then Sophie will live again - ‘And there’s nothing you X-Men can do to -’ Quire screams as Logan shoves his powerful adamantium claws into his shoulder.

Inside the egg, Emma “the White Queen” Frost, who has recently bonded with the Phoenix calls to her lover and co-headmaster of the Xavier Institute, Scott “Cyclops” Summers. Scott telepathically answers, asking Emma if it is she or the Phoenix. Emma replies that it is her - but not for long. Scott urges Emma to keep fighting, to which she replies that she will, but that she knows she will lose, because she is not strong enough, and the Phoenix is so hungry. Emma remarks that she is not a host, just a shell.

Back outside, Archangel flies up to Quire and smacks him in the face, as Quire remarks he can repair the wounds Wolverine inflicted upon him. Powerful energy darts about Quire as he heads towards the egg. Doctor Henry McCoy a.k.a. the Beast and Kitty “Shadowcat” Pryde guard the egg, using their physical abilities to block Quire’s power from cracking it.

Emma tells Scott that she has so much to say, that she didn’t think she would ever be so happy. She adds that she knows everyone expects her to snark, but that Scott has been the one thing that - before she can reveal what Scott has been for her, Emma declares that she can’t hold on much longer, as the Phoenix is so hungry.

At that very moment, one of Quire’s energy tentacles smacks against the side of the containment egg - Emma screams as Cyclops tells her not to let go of him, but Emma telepathically replies that she is sorry, and tells Scott he has to be strong now. ‘You have to kill her’ she remarks telepathically as there is a huge explosion, and Emma / the Phoenix fly high up into the sky. Cyclops leaps out of the containment egg as Kitty and the Beast leap for safety. ‘X-Men! Attack!’ yells Cyclops.

Beast calls to Wolverine, who is still dealing to Quire and replies that he is kinda busy. Kitty understands what Hank wants to do and exclaims that she is on it, leaping towards the Beast, who lifts Kitty up and hurls her towards the Phoenix in their own version of a Fastball Special. Beast informs Kitty to go for the heart, which the Phoenix hears and exclaims The heart? That sounds like fun! Kitty and Archangel are knocked back, as Cyclops calls out to Emma.

Emma’s gone, Scott. But I’m still here. I’ll always be here for you. Just for you. Scott tells the Phoenix that she is insane, to which she replies No. Just in love. Cyclops tells her that she has no idea what love is, that she is a monster and just because she steals Emma’s body and voice she thinks - the Phoenix interrupts, and claims that it is not like he thinks. But Scott points out that she needs the energy from his optic blasts - that is food, not love. The Phoenix is somewhat confused, and asks about what it is that they wanted, when Kid Omega interrupts and tells her not to waste her time, as Cyclops will never understand - ‘Not the way I do!’

Nearby, inside the Shi’ar vessel, the helmsman informs his commander that the Omega mutant has claimed the Phoenix. The ship’s counselor begins to sing in his native Shi’ar. ’Yes…sing the Endsong…and prepare to attack!’ exclaims the commander. The helmsman informs the commander that their guns are fused, so they cannot aim. The commander orders the helmsman to set a collision course - they will activate the Eleka’an Event Horizon upon impact. He turns to the two X-Men aboard the ship - Ororo “Storm” Munroe and Kurt “Nightcrawler” Wagner - and asks if they have any objections.

Storm replies that she has none, but that she and Kurt are going ahead of them to save their friends. Ororo and the commander shake hands, as the commander exclaims that they will sing another Endsong, for her. As Ororo and Nightcrawler leave, the counsellor sings the Endsong.

There are several purple bursts across the icy blue terrain as Kurt teleports himself and Storm towards their teammates, who are helplessly watching the Phoenix and Quire inside a huge green bubble. Storm vocalizes her astonishment with ‘Goddess…’.

Inside the bubble, the Phoenix recalls the Quentin was broken when they first met, but now he is burning. She asks him to tell her what all this longing is for. Quire replies that he doesn’t know, but he just needs…wants…. The Phoenix asks Quire to show her, before she places her hands on sides of Sophie’s body - bringing the Stepford Cuckoo back to life.

Quentin smiles, ‘Sophie! It’s me! Quentin! You’re alive, and I brought you back! Now we can…we can…’ his voice trails off, as Sophie turns to look at him. At the Xavier Institute, Sophie’s sisters Celeste, Phoebe and Mindee who are hooked up to Cerebro feel their sister’s resurrection. Sophie screws her nose up, ‘Eeew’ she exclaims, perplexing Quire, who stutters in his speech. ‘Whatever’ declares Sophie before she turns into a corpse again, causing Quire to repeat ‘No, no, no’ over and over again. ‘Dorkus!’ declare the Three-In-One, causing Quire to start crying, and screams ‘Nnnnoooooo!’, before there is a huge explosion and he falls to the ground.

The Phoenix asks Quentin what the matter with him is, and sitting beside Sophie’s corpse, Quentin mutters that it wasn’t supposed to happen like this, that the Phoenix was supposed to bring Sophie back and she was supposed to…supposed to…. The Phoenix’s eyes light up as she tells Quire that he was supposed to show her what it feels like, what it means. Quentin replies that he doesn’t know, and that he is just a stupid kid who screwed it all up, coming back too soon.

This whole world…I feel it. I hear it. It’s like you, so full of longing so hungry and confused… remarks the Phoenix, before a sobbing Quentin mutters that he is sick. Yes. Sick like this whole world declares the Phoenix as she flies up higher - only to be pursued by Storm, who has created a snowstorm to hold the Phoenix back, ‘No! No more!’ exclaims Ororo, but the Phoenix knocks her backwards, You can’t stop me! I have work to do! she exclaims.

Scott kneels by a crack in the icy floor, calling to Jean, asking her if she is down there, if she can hear him. A frozen Jean Grey remains frozen, in suspended animation beneath him. Cyclops gets no answer. Wolverine understands what Scott is going to do and tells him to do it, ‘what else have we got to lose?’ ‘God help us’ declares Scott as he unleashes his optic blasts upon the ice, when suddenly Jean Grey flies up through it, shouting ‘Enough!’

The phenomenally powerful X-Woman uses her abilities to knock the Phoenix to the ground, as Kitty Pryde mumbles that she knew that was coming eventually. Jean Grey…how did you do that? Without me? Without my power? asks the Phoenix, before Jean replies ‘I am you. Don’t you remember? Now get out of that stupid body!’

The Phoenix takes to the air again, No, he loves Emma Frost. Loves me. Jean grabs the Phoenix by the throat and rips the White Queen out of her cosmic hold. Emma cries out as she falls to the ground, she tells herself that it is going to burn the whole world, before realizing that she is free, she can see the sky. Emma lands in Cyclops’ arms. ‘Gotcha!’

Jean Grey tells the Phoenix that Cyclops wants Emma, not her, not them, and that it is now time to leave this façade behind. Jean tells the Phoenix that she knows she is confused, but that afterwards, in the White Hot Room, when all their pieces are back together, she will understand. Because you and I are one. ‘Yes’ agrees Jean.

The Phoenix asks if this longing she feels belongs to her, but Jean doesn’t answer. The Phoenix realizes she only came back because Jean wanted it, Jean wanted to feel again, to understand in this world. Cyclops calls out to Jean, ‘Jean, no!’ Yes… declares the Phoenix as she bonds with Jean. Jean states that she can see herself doing it again. ‘Here I come, tomorrow…’. ‘Little bug people…”a built -in obsolescence” evolutionary dead end…’. ‘Burning away what doesn’t work…this is Hell. This is Hell. So I…kill them all. Billions and billions again and again, forever and ever’.

Wolverine points out that the Phoenix looks like she is about to pop, and Storm informs Scott that the Shi’ar are coming, so it would be best if the two of them and Emma stay, while Kurt and Warren get the others to safety - but Scott says no, as Jean needs all of them. He turns to Emma and asks her if she can read him. ‘Yes. Go for it, darling’ she says.

Cyclops looks up at Jean and asks her if she can hear him. Black tears streaming from her eyes, Jean replies that she can hear him, but not feel him. ‘I’m beyond you. Becoming. Becoming. Becoming. Becoming. Becoming’. Scott asks her to shush, telling her that he knows why she came back, what she needs. Emma telepathically calls to the Three-In-One, telling them to find them all - find the X-Men, before she extends her hands to Jean.

Jean sees before her those that she loves, and those who love her. Her best friend, Storm, her beloved Wolverine, original X-Men Beast, Iceman and Archangel, her “sister” Polaris, her mentor Professor Charles Xavier, “daughter” Rachel, teammates Havok, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Rogue, Shadowcat, Gambit, the Stepford Cuckoos, and, of course, Cyclops and Emma Frost. ‘Jean’ ‘Jean’ ‘Jean’ ‘Jean’ ‘Mom’ ‘Jean’ ‘Professor Grey’ ‘Jean’ ‘Jean’ ‘Jean’ ‘Jeannie’ ‘Jean’ ‘Jean’ ‘Jean’ ‘Jean…’ ‘Jean’ ‘Jean’.

‘God, Jean…how does it feel…to be loved that much?’ Now sporting a white and gold costume, Jean “Phoenix” Grey hugs herself, eyes downcast, she cries, before looking at her friends. ‘My friends…’.

The Shi’ar vessel makes its approach, the counselor singing the Endsong still. ‘Make and end’ orders the commander, and suddenly there is an Event Horizon, a brilliant explosion as the vessel is destroyed - then there is only darkness.

Suddenly, everything is white. The beautiful Jean Grey stands before Scott and tells him that she is going, that she is scared. ‘Who are you?’ Scott asks. ‘…Jean. Jean Grey’ is the reply. Scott remarks that she is Jean Grey and will always be, no matter what happens, no matter where she goes, how she grows, or what the cosmos tell her. ‘Find yourself, Jean, all your pieces’ he says, before assuring her that she will be fine, that she will remember, and will know what to do.

Jean tells Scott that she wants to see his eyes. Scott smiles and takes his visor off, bathing them both in his optic power. ‘goodbye’ says Jean, before Scott finds himself on the ice again, with the other X-Men gathering themselves too. Storm calls to Jean, as Beast explains that when they were in the void, the Shi’ar weapon’s Event Horizon, it is impossible to escape, they should all be dead. ‘Jeannie. She did it again’. declares Logan. Tears fall from Scott’s eyes as he remarks Jean saved them all - but only after all of them saved her.

Emma exclaims that she can still feel it, everything that everybody gave to Jean, and everything she ever gave to them. ‘Ah, Jean…’ remarks Scott.

Kid Omega goes back to sitting beside Sophie’s body and he says goodbye to her. Beast approaches Quentin, who apologizes for all the trouble he has caused, admitting that he wasn’t ready for this. Beast tells him not to worry, and that none of them were ready for this. Quire lies on the ground and declares that there was something he thought he needed, but couldn’t have…shouldn’t have. ‘I think I’m going to sleep for a little while now’ he remarks before fading from existence, and appearing back in his containment tank at the Xavier Institute.

Later, darkness has set over the Xavier Institute in Westchester, New York, the home of the X-Men and the many mutant students who reside there. In the room of the Three-In-One, Celeste, Phoebe and Mindee, one of them suddenly wakes up. A small firefly appears at the window. ‘Oh, of course. What took you so long?’ the Cuckoo asks, cosmic fire in her eyes.

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 telepathic communication

Colossus, Gambit, Havok, Iceman, Marvel Girl III, Polaris, Rogue (all X-Men)

Professor Xavier

In Flashback Images

Jean Grey / Phoenix IV / Marvel Girl

Professor X

Angel, Beast, Colossus, Cyclops, Iceman, Polaris, Marvel Girl III, Nightcrawler, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Story Notes: 

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

Emma bonded with the Phoenix in X-Men: Phoenix - Endsong #4.

Sophie died in New X-Men a.k.a. X-Men (2nd series) #138.

Jean buried herself in the ice in Endsong #3.

Phoenix/Jean’s rant about killing bug people seems to refer to the timeline in the “Here comes tomorrow” arc in (New) X-Men #151-154.
The splendid white and gold costume that Jean dons this issue was actually going to be the original Phoenix costume in Uncanny X-Men #101, but due to coloring problems the costume was turned green and gold.

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