Credits: Scott Lobdell (writer), John Romita, Jr. (penciler), Dan Green (inker), Chris Eliopoulos (letterer), Steve Buccellato (colorist)
When Archangel and Jean Grey visit his Colorado home, they discover his deceased girlfriend Candy Southern is still alive. When Jean Grey probes her mind, she sees shadowy figures reviving her, but a psionic explosion goes off when she gets too close to the truth. Cameron Hodge, also believed to be dead, appears. Candy is revealed to be techno-organic, as Hodge siphons off part of her body to repair the damage Archangel is inflicting. Knowing that she is linked to Hodge, Candy begins ripping her body apart, which causes Hodge to explode. Candy says goodbye to Archangel before she dies again. Meanwhile, Xavier prepares to confront Magneto, and Forge and Storm reconcile.
The last two panels have been re-lettered, with Archangel worrying that their mystery foes could be anyone the X-Men know.
This was always a strange issue to me. X-Men #25 was already out at this point, featuring Xavier’s big confrontation with Magneto, yet this issue still devotes pages to building up to the big fight. Since the books shipped on a tight schedule during this time, everyone involved must have known that they were still building up to a comic that would’ve already been released. I can understand that the previous issue was in an awkward place, shipping in-between Uncanny X-Men and X-Men’s chapters in the crossover, but two issues in a row of the X-Men facing vague threats while Magneto looms in the background is just odd. Even though the term “Phalanx” hasn’t come up yet, this is another issue setting up the future villains. Last issue, the villains turned into a fleshy goo, and now they’re techno-organic. This has always seemed like a last minute rethink to me, and it’s pretty jarring to read the two issues back to back. Lobdell’s able to handle Archangel’s trademark angst well enough, but for some reason he portrays Hodge as a jokey, cheery villain, which doesn’t work at all. Storm also receives a few pages, as she reunites with Forge. This doesn’t go anywhere, and I wonder why there was an effort to reunite the pair after devoting two issues to their breakup a year earlier. It just serves as another reminder that Marvel really had no idea what to do with Storm during this era.