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Out of the Past - Parts I & II
           Callisto's telekinetic thief, Leech, has just stolen a new energy weapon from their enemies, Lady Deathstrike's Reevers, and is escaping back into the Morlocks' section of tunnels. Deathstrike and the Reevers follow him, and capture the Morlocks. Then they follow the tunnel, and discover a huge buried alien spaceship. Deathstrike tries to slash it open with her long adamantium claws, and receives such a severe physical/psychic shock that she nearly loses her mind. The same psychic backlash sweeps across the countryside, catching Professor Xavier totally unawares.
           A short time later, Wolverine receives an emergency call from Leech. The little boy begs him to come to the tunnels, because 'Uriko' wants him. Wolverine's too stunned by a message from his old lover to think clearly--he simply takes off. Jubilee convinces Gambit to follow him, for his own protection. They arrive in the Morlock tunnels just in time to see Wolverine captured by Lady Deathstrike and the Reevers. Too late, he realizes that Uriko is Deathstrike, and she wants to kill him. Her father, Professor Oyama, was the scientist responsible for fusing his bones with adamantium, and he was killed when Wolverine destroyed the laboratory and escaped. In revenge for her father's life, she had her own arms replaced with long adamantium arms and claws, in hopes of killing Wolverine.
           The Reevers want to open the spaceship before Deathstrike kills him, so she forces him down the tunnel. Gambit and Jubilee follow them in secret. Wolverine starts fighting the Reevers as soon as he's released, so Gambit and Jubilee join in. Deathstrike attacks Wolverine, but gets too close to the ship. Its force field shorts out her cybernetic circuitry. Wolverine slashes at the ship to free her, and inadvertently releases the alien energy creature that was trapped inside.
           Xavier got a glimpse of alien writing when he was psychically blasted. He deciphers it just as Wolverine breaks through the ship's hull. Too late, he realizes that the alien is lethally dangerous, and must be stopped. He and his students head for the tunnels.
           The creature is a 'spirit-drinker,' and it absorbs the soul of any entity it touches. The Reevers are its first victims. Deathstrike and the X-Men race out of the chamber, with the spirit-drinker in close pursuit. They try to fight it, until it absorbs Deathstrike's and Jubilee's souls. Gambit and Wolverine are afraid to kill it, for fear of also killing their companions. Then the other X-Men appear, and try to stop it before it reaches the surface and starts preying on the entire world.
           Xavier examines the ship, and learns that the alien was deliberately imprisoned on the ship, which accidentally crash-landed on Earth ages ago. Meanwhile, the alien has reached the subway and is attacking helpless pedestrians. Wolverine keeps slashing off chunks of its tentacles, but can't seem to hurt its body. Then he notices that a piece of its tentacle that touched the subway rails is destroyed. Even though he's been injured, he attacks the creature again and lures it out onto the rails. Gambit throws his collapsible bo-staff directly into the energy-creature's body. The staff wedges against the rails and electrocutes the creature. As it vanishes, the captured souls are released, and return to their own bodies again.
           Deathstrike's honor prevents her from attacking the man who saved her life. She bows low to Wolverine and promises to meet him in battle some other time, then disappears into the caverns. Xavier warns his students that the alien threat is far from over--when he was psychically probed, he received vivid images of a tremendous space battle...and he knows that the battle will soon be approaching Earth.

The Phoenix Saga - Episode I: Sacrifice
           Xavier is still being tormented by images of the space battle he previously 'saw.' He orders his students to sneak aboard the next shuttle bound for the Eagle I space station. Jubilee distracts the guards while Cyclops, Jean, Wolverine, Gambit, and Beast knock out the real astronauts and enter the shuttle. Jean psychically manipulates the last astronaut, Dr. Corbeau, into believing that they really are the shuttle crew. When they reach the orbiter, she senses an evil presence aboard. Her psychic control slips, letting Dr. Corbeau realize who they really are. Then the airlock is flooded with gas, and they're knocked unconscious.
           When they revive, Jean realizes that the orbiter staff are being psychically controlled by an alien (Shi'ar) warrior known as Erik the Red. Erik tries to jettison the X-Men, but she telekinetically overrides the airlock controls, and they break back into the station. He's been waiting to destroy a small Shi'ar ship that's due to exit a nearby wormhole soon. The X-Men stop him, and the ship escapes, but the station is destroyed. Dr. Corbeau and the X-Men reach the shuttle and take off, then discover that several of the control panels have been destroyed. The shuttle will have to be manually piloted back to Earth.
           Jean knows that Dr. Corbeau will never survive the trip, since they'll have to pass through the other ship's radiation trail. She psychically absorbs all his training, then secures him with her teammates back in the shielded cargo bay, and pilots the shuttle herself. As they pass through the radiation trail, her psychic shield dissolves. She's engulfed by a living flame which seems to resemble a giant bird.

The Phoenix Saga - Episode II: The Dark Shroud
           The living flames seem to disappear into Jean's body as the shuttle plummets toward Earth. Somehow she regains control of the ship and manages to bring it safely down, but it crashes into the Hudson River and sinks. The carbo bay pops open, and the X-Men and Dr. Corbeau escape. Scott and Wolverine are frantic when they can't find Jean among the wreckage. Then she suddenly breaks free of the water and soars into the air. A huge bird-like image of flame seems to surround her. She calls herself 'the Phoenix,' then falls back into the water, unconscious.
           While the X-Men are gathered in the hospital, trying to find out what happened to Jean, Xavier continues receiving devastating psychic probes that are driving him half-mad. One such probe touches him just as he's flying his mini-jet off the hospital's roof. The mini-jet crashes, and the impact releases his 'dark side.' Though the X-Men are the most important people in his life, his dark side starts attacking them and trying to kill them.
           They converge on the rooftop, and find Xavier's unconscious body still in the mini-jet. When he regains consciousness, he apologizes for having tried to psychically hurt them. He's afraid that he may lose control of his dark side again and seriously injure one of them, so he decides to join Moira MacTaggert at the Muir Island Research Center until he can regain control of his mind.
           When he reaches Muir Island, he discovers that Moira has a new fiancé--Sean Cassidy, better known as Banshee. Shocked by this unexpected news, he quickly retires to his room. Later that night, he's assaulted by another of the psychic probes which keep attacking him. In desperation, he reaches out his hand--and another hand suddenly clasps his. When the smoke clears, he finds himself staring at an exotic young woman...Lilandra, sister of the evil Shi'ar Emperor D'Ken. She explains that D'Ken wants to possess the mystical M'Kraan crystal and become ruler of the entire universe. She stole the crystal to keep it safe, and has been fleeing across the galaxy, searching for safe haven from D'Ken and his Imperial Guard. Xavier, realizing that she's his destined soul-mate, promises to protect her.
           Without warning, Juggernaut breaks into his room and attacks them.

The Phoenix Saga - Episode III: Cry of the Banshee
           Xavier and Lilandra fight Juggernaut until another mutant, Black Tom, attacks Xavier from behind and knocks him out. Juggernaut throws him out the window, then he and Black Tom kidnap Lilandra. Xavier is saved from certain death by Banshee, who flies down and catches him just above the waves. He and Moira think that Lilandra and the attackers are just a symptom of Xavier's illness, and don't believe his wild story. Xavier contacts the X-Men, and tells them about Lilandra.
           Cyclops, despairing because Jean seems to be undergoing a bizarre transformation, barely gives credence to Xavier's tale. Surprisingly, Wolverine is the one who insists on checking out Muir Island. He takes Jubilee, Gambit, and Rogue to Muir Island with him. As soon as he arrives, he confirms that three other people were in Xavier's room--Juggernaut and two people he doesn't recognize...and one of them isn't even human.
           Meanwhile, Erik the Red has joined Juggernaut and Black Tom. After he reluctantly pays them a huge ransom, they hand Lilandra over to him. She telepathically contacts Xavier, and concentrates on the only thing she can see--a huge family crest hanging on the wall above a large fireplace. As soon as Erik realizes that she's contacting someone, he knocks her out again. Xavier describes the ornate crest, and Banshee realizes that he's describing the great hall at Cassidy Keep. Furious that his younger brother, Black Tom, is involved with criminals, he quickly takes the X-Men across the channel to his family castle. He and Black Tom fight each other while the rest of the team takes on Juggernaut. After a brutal battle, Juggernaut and Black Tom escape, and take Lilandra to Erik's ship.
           Gladiator, leader of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard, arrives to take Lilandra to D'Ken. Juggernaut and the X-Men each try to fight him, but he defeats them all. Meanwhile, Jean realizes that Xavier needs her help. The Phoenix takes control of her, and flies her to Cassidy Keep. Only the Phoenix is powerful enough to defeat Gladiator. She hurls him back out into space to warn D'Ken away from the M'Kraan crystal.

The Phoenix Saga - Episode IV: The StarJammers
           Cyclops, Storm, and Beast have followed Jean/Phoenix to Cassidy's Keep in the Blackbird. The Phoenix realizes that Emperor D'Ken is arriving in their solar system. She transports Lilandra and several of the X-Men to her spaceship, where the M'Kraan crystal is being safely protected in a stasis beam. Xavier, Storm, and Jubilee are left behind with Moira and Banshee.
           A band of pirates known as the StarJammers attack Lilandra's ship. Their leader, Corsair, tries to steal the crystal. Jean realizes that Corsair is Cyclops' long-lost father, and won't let Cyclops shoot him. The StarJammers defeat them, and take Cyclops to their own ship as a prisoner...and a weapon against D'Ken. Corsair insists that Cyclops must kill D'Ken to prevent millions of star systems from being destroyed, and confesses how D'Ken murdered his wife.
           Erik and Gladiator try to warn D'Ken about the Phoenix, but he refuses to listen. Then Corsair offers to sell D'Ken the crystal. He accompanies Cyclops to the Shi'ar ship, and reminisces about his long-lost children. Meanwhile, Phoenix transports her teammates to D'Ken's ship, where they fight D'Ken's Imperial Guard. Lilandra retrieves the crystal, but is captured by D'Ken while they're trying to escape.
           Phoenix tries to stop D'Ken from using the crystal, but he succeeds, and breaches the sacred matrix. He unleashes the power of an alter-universe which will suck their own universe into the crystal and destroy it.

The Phoenix Saga - Episode V: The Child of Light
           The X-Men fight D'Ken until he disappears inside the crystal, into his newly-created universe. Phoenix transports her teammates to the StarJammer ship, then returns to D'Ken's ship and tries to repair the crystal. When she gets sucked inside, all reality starts to get sucked in with her.
           While Storm and a handful of other mutants struggle to preserve Earth, which is being torn apart from the nearby spacial disturbances, the StarJammer ship also gets pulled into the crystal. The world inside the crystal belongs to D'Ken--he can create any reality he chooses. Though the X-Men, the StarJammers, and the Imperial Guard fight him, he's become so powerful that they can't defeat him.
           Finally the Phoenix manages to transport them all back to Lilandra's ship, then finds a way to heal the breach in the crystal and trap D'Ken inside. To protect the crystal from any further misuse, Jean allows the Phoenix to fly it into the center of the sun, and Jean/Phoenix remains there to protect it.
           Lilandra returns to the Shi'ar Empire to take her place as the new Emperess. The X-Men grieve when they realize that Jean is gone forever, but Xavier tries to comfort Scott by reminding him of how the Phoenix legend represents hope for new life and a new future.

           After Rogue drained away enough of Warren's hatred to restore his sanity, he devoted his life and huge fortune to destroying Apocalypse. When one of his researchers discovers an ancient scroll that details the immortal giant's only weakness, he thinks he's found his revenge. He promptly attacks Apocalypse over the New York Harbor. The X-Men try to assist him, but he's knocked unconscious, and Apocalypse escapes.
           The X-Men take Warren back to the Mansion, and learn that Apocalypse's fabled sentient ship is hidden offshore. They decide to investigate it, hoping to set a trap for Apocalypse. Warren's too impatient to wait, and convinces Rogue to join him in another direct attack. Gambit tries to talk her out of it, but she doesn't listen. He disobeys Cyclops by following her when he should have joined his teammates at Apocalypse's ship.
           Beast contacts Ship, and makes friends with it. Ship allows the X-Men to land and explore. Beast starts changing its security codes so they can fight Apocalypse. However, Apocalypse has also set a trap, which they accidentally trigger. Ship regrets having to destroy them, but can't override its programming. Meanwhile, Warren and Rogue attack Apocalypse at Coney Island. Gambit can't dissuade them, so he joins in the fight. When Apocalypse escapes, they hurry to join their teammates at his Ship.
           Fortunately, Ship doesn't want the X-Men to be destroyed. It tells Beast how to override its override systems. When Apocalypse arrives, Beast triggers his own trap, and cages him in a powerful forcefield. Warren tries to attack Apocalypse, but can't reach him. Infuriated, he destroys the control panels and frees Apocalypse. Then he discovers that all his hard-won information was false. He's horrified when Apocalypse changes into his trusted 'assistant,' and mocks all his efforts.
           The X-Men fight Apocalypse while Ship helps Beast reprogram its own weapons. Then Ship traps him on the stasis pad again, and seals off the chamber. With the last of its power, Ship hurls Apocalypse into outer space. Warren, obsessed with destroying Apocalypse, heads off into the night, swearing vengeance. Then Ship crashes into the harbor and dies. Rogue finally realizes that she was wrong for having acted without the team, and apologizes to Beast and her teammates.

Cold Comfort
           When the X-Men investigate illegal mutant activity at the Kirby Glen federal storage depot, they discover that their one-time teammate, Iceman (Bobby Drake), is trying to break into the installation. Several armed guards try to capture them, but Xavier psychically projects images of monsters and Shi'ar aliens to frighten the guards away. The X-Men bring Bobby back to the Mansion. Since he refuses to explain what he was doing there, they confine him in a Shi'ar gravity-suspension field. Later, Jubilee overhears him telling Beast that he was searching for his girlfriend, Lorna Dane (Polaris), who had disappeared under suspicious circumstances. His only clue was a scrap of paper with the outpost's name on it.
           Jubilee feels sorry for Bobby. Once Beast leaves, she sneaks in and releases him, then accompanies him back to the outpost. As soon as they break into the installation, they're attacked and captured by several unknown mutants. The X-Men arrive just as Bobby and Jubilee break free, and they all start to fight the strange mutants. Cyclops discovers that he and the other team's leader, Havok, can't hurt each other with their energy blasts, but they don't know why.
           Finally the X-Men defeat the strangers, and demand some answers. Forge, the Indian cyborg, tells Cyclops that he and his teammates are a governmental peacekeeping force called X-Factor. They couldn't resist holding a training exercise, pitting themselves against Xavier's legendary team, but they didn't mean any harm. Then Lorna appears, and runs to Havok's side. Bobby's stunned to find her there. She confesses that she was recruited by Forge, and faked her own disappearance. Then she fell in love with Havok, so she never contacted Bobby and asked him to join the team.
           Xavier offers Bobby a chance to rejoin the X-Men, but he reminds them that he'd drive them crazy with his reckless nature and practical jokes. Despite Jubilee's protests, he leaves again.

Strange Heart: Parts I & II
           When Mr. Sinister was destroyed in the Savage Lands, Sauron took over leadership of the region, and enslaved Kazar's people. As before, Kazar leads the fight to regain their freedom. Sauron's hypnotic abilities give him great power, yet he needs to absorb mutant energy to survive. Without it, he'll weaken and transform back into Karl Lykos, Kazar's tribesman.
           When Sauron is nearly defeated by Kazar and his people, Zeladane--high priestess of the Sun God, Garock--rescues him. She helps him escape from Kazar, then removes the last of his mutant energy, changing him back into Lykos. She urges him to escape from the Savage Lands in Magneto's abandoned mini-jet. With no mutant energy to feed on, he'll be able to retain his human form. Lykos despises everything that Sauron represents, so he gratefully heads for New York City, confident that he's finally free of his wicked alter-ego.
           Unfortunately, even as Lykos, he needs to absorb a certain amount of life-energy to survive. Like a vampire, he stalks the subways, feeding off unwary pedestrians. He doesn't realize that Logan is a mutant until it's too late. Lykos transforms back into Sauron, and begins terrorizing the city. Storm and Rogue are nearby, riding horses in the park. As soon as they see Sauron, they fly after him and try to subdue him. He hypnotizes Rogue, forcing her to attack her teammates. Then he overpowers Storm, and takes her back to the Savage Lands as his prisoner...and a gift for Garock.
           Beast, Wolverine, Rogue, and Jubilee head after Sauron in the Blackbird. Immediately after they arrive in the Savage Lands, they're attacked by a ferocious dinosaur. Kazar rescues them, and traps the creature in a deep pit. After welcoming them to his village, he tells them about the recent battles against Sauron.
           Unknown to them, Sauron has released all the restraints in Storm's mind, freeing her emotions and allowing her awesome powers to rage out of control. When he absorbs her enhanced energy, he's recharged beyond his wildest dreams. He promptly rallies his troops and attacks the villagers again. The X-Men fight him until he weakens and reverts back to his human form. Kazar is amazed to realize that Sauron is actually his trusted friend. He assures Lykos that they'll find some way of helping him.
           While Sauron is gone, Zeladane releases Storm from her captivity. The weather-witch is totally out of control, consumed by her released emotions. She revels in her destructive powers as she summons fierce rains and winds that batter the Savage Lands. The X-Men can't figure out how to stop her without causing more damage to her or the region. Finally, though he knows it will change him back into his most hated enemy, Lykos offers to drain off some of her energy to bring her back under control. He wants to right the evils that Sauron caused.
           The other X-Men create a diversion while Rogue flies Lykos close enough to grab Storm. He promptly transforms back into Sauron and tries to absorb Rogue's energy, but their powers cancel each other out. Shaken, she carries Storm back to the village. Beast gives Storm a sedative, hoping to calm her, but she's still aware of Garock's growing powers. She escapes and tries to fight the elemental imbalance, but the X-Men restrain her again, thinking that she's still irrational.
           Meanwhile, Sauron orders Zeladane to rally his troops one more time. She ignores him. Garock is coming alive, and his will takes precedence over Sauron's. The mutant scoffs at Zeladane, positive that Garock is merely a children's tale--until the massive stone carving imprisons him with long, crystalline tendrils while it tells him about its history. Eons ago, Garock ruled the Savage Lands until Wondergore's mysterious leader defeated him and turned him into stone. He remained dormant until the X-Men first arrived in the Savage Lands, trying to free Professor Xavier, and Storm used her mutant powers to control the elements. Garock awakened, but knew that only the full force of her powers could free him. He had Zeladane sent Lykos to New York City to find Storm and return her to the Savage Lands. Now, as he regains his powers, he plots to take over the entire world.
           The Savage Lands are warmed by a ring of massive volcanoes. Deep below the surface, ancient ultra-advanced technology keeps the magma active, producing enough heat to sustain life. Garock plans to tap into that primal energy and become all-powerful. Storm is tormented by her deep awareness of Garock's growing power. As the land around them transforms into stony waste, she escapes again and tries to challenge him. Unfortunately, every time she frees the weather, trying to defeat him, she only makes him stronger. The X-Men try to stop her, but she's too hysterical to listen.
           Garock reaches the volcanoes, and taps into their power while he's still holding Sauron prisoner. The backlash strengthens Sauron, who breaks free and races for the volcanoes himself. Rogue drags Storm out of danger as each of the villains become immensely powerful, and battle each other. The mountaintops explode as their powers repel each other, and they're both defeated. Garock is reduced to a stone statue again, dormant and half-shattered. Sauron is nearly killed, and reverts back to Karl Lykos. Rogue tries to protect Storm from the flying boulders, but they're both buried by the explosion. When the X-Men finally free them, Storm is unconscious. They carry her back to the Blackbird and return home. Kazar finds Lykos among the wreckage, and offers a portion of his own life-energy to revive him. Now that no more mutants remain in the Savage Lands, he's finally free of Sauron's influence. Kazar welcomes him back to the tribe.

No Mutant Is An Island
           After the Phoenix disappears into the sun, taking the M'Kraan crystal with her, Cyclops loses faith in Xavier's cause. He's sick of fighting and struggling, and losing people he loves. He leaves the X-Men, and returns to his hometown. There he finds that his childhood friend, Sarah, has taken over running the McNeil Orphanage where he lived until Xavier took him in. He's even more surprised to find that she always knew he was a mutant, and never hated him for it. When one of her charges, young Rusty, inadvertently starts a fire with his mutant abilities, Cyclops stops the fire. Rusty insists that he doesn't want to return to his new foster home, because Mr. Kilgrave treats him and his mutant companions like slaves.
           Kilgrave arrives at the orphanage to collect Rusty, and pressures him into returning to his estate. Then he hypnotizes Rusty and his three mutant friends, and uses them to cause a distraction while he pays an unscheduled visit to the governor. He mentally controls the frightened politician and forces him to retire from the upcoming elections.
           Scott is about to leave the orphanage the next morning when he sees a news broadcast about Kilgrave. Worried that Rusty might have been telling the truth about the 'torture devices' in Kilgrave's basement, he and Sarah head to Kilgrave's mansion to investigate. Kilgrave invites him in, then has the children attack him. They dump him in the pool and leave him to drown. As he's dying, he sees and hears Jean calling to him. Sarah revives him, and they break into the mansion. When they discover that the mutants are being hypnotized, Scott destroys Kilgrave's equipment, and they rescue the teenagers.
           Kilgrave attacks the orphanage to retrieve the teenagers, and tries to hypnotize Scott. While he forces Rusty to destroy the orphanage, Scott breaks free of his mental control and shoots down Kilgrave's chopper. A local news crew captures the entire event on film. Though the orphanage is destroyed, Sarah decides to rebuild and continue her work. She asks Scott to stay there with her. Though he wants to stay, he knows that other people need him, too. He returns to Xavier's Mansion just as Cerebro registers a new mutant life-sign. Somehow Jean is still alive...and she's finally returned to Earth.

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