Uncanny X-Men #202
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #202
...which surely wasn't the reason Claremont wanted to turn Rachel into the Phoenix. In fact, pitting her against the omipotent Beyonder has the effect of downplaying the Phoenix' own vast power. Although we do get to see that Rachel now has an impressive level of power, beyond what she used to display.
One explanation for why we haven't seen much examination of Rachel's transformation prior to this (beyond the fact that the X-Men have been rushing from Asgard to Paris to dealing with Magneto's new status and setting up for X-Factor), is that the other X-Men don't seem to have taken seriously the idea that she really is the Phoenix until now.
When Rachel confronts the Beyonder, he assesses her and says that she's acting out of guilt for all of the deaths of her friends in the Days of Future Past timeline...
...and then grants her even more power. Interestingly, Rachel wonders if this is how her mother felt when she became the Phoenix, which implies that Rachel really wasn't the Phoenix yet, or at least hadn't really used her powers.
With her new power, the Beyonder says, Rachel can either kill him, or rescue the X-Men, who the Beyonder has brought into the area and beset with Omega Series Hunter-Killer sentinels from her future timeline.
Rachel reluctantly decides to save her friends. Despite her powers, the X-Men still have to do a fair amount of fighting themselves. The Sentinels are prepared for Magneto...
...but seem less ready for the X-Men...
...and are fooled completely by a power trick from Kitty and Colossus.
During the course of the fight, Rogue's costume gets completely shredded, which i guess Gary Frank thought was memorable enough of a moment to use as the cover of the X-Men Classic reprint.
During the fight with the Sentinels, Magneto makes sure to keep civilians out of danger, which resolves a tension that had been brewing between him and Wolverine.
After the fight, Rachel returns to the Beyonder, who tries to convince her that she's redeemed herself and her guilt over the death of her future friends, but Rachel correctly points out that this whole scenario was a fake set up by the Beyonder, so nothing is resolved.
Given a plot forced by the Secret Wars II tie-in, this is a fun issue with a nice clean fight from John Romita Jr..
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Beyonder brings the X-Men to San Francisco this issue.
Crossover: Secret Wars II
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: X-Men Classic #106
Inbound References (8): show
"During the fight with the Sentinels, Magneto makes sure to keep civilians out of danger, which resolves a tension that had been brewing between him and Magneto". That seems to need some fixing.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | August 30, 2014 10:49 PM
Luis, Magneto had some self-esteem problems. Thanks; fixed it.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 30, 2014 10:57 PM
Back in Annual #7, Rogue complained about how many costumes the Wasp had. But Rogue has a crapload of costumes herself - it's just that we don't tend to notice since they all have the same color scheme.
Posted by: Erik Beck | June 8, 2015 7:21 AM
This is a fun fight issue, and I like putting the X-Men in San Francisco for a visit. Unfortunately, this charm is ruined when Rachel decides to try to Dark Phoenix harder than her mom ever did.
Posted by: J-Rod | February 20, 2017 3:41 PM
This was a pretty terrible issue :/
Posted by: Karel | April 25, 2018 3:36 PM
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