Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artists: John Romita, Jr. & Dan Green

Despite being mindblind from the drugs he's on because of his recent mugging, Professor X accidentally 'overhears' a random thought from someone plotting a murder.

The really big problem though is that he chances upon this snatch of internal monologue whilst in a lecture hall packed with hundreds of students.

From that moment, the hunt is on for the X-Men to identify the would-be murderers and stop them, without any idea even who their intended victim is. You'd expect the Professor to at least have noticed the gender of the voice. I guess telepathy doesn't work like that.

Anyhow, in a huge stroke of luck, the victim turns out to be himself. However with anti-mutant hysteria building, the prey also expands to include Shadowcat. The final showdown at the end, with Rachel determined to exact revenge against the plotters, muddies who the good guys are even further.

It's their dubious ally, and long-term nemesis, Magneto who winds up talking her out of it. Having apparently wrestled with his own conscience over the years, he's able to empathise with what she's going through, even to the point of using reverse psychology.

Magneto: "Then kill him, child. Prove your superiority -- slaughter them as callously, as mercilessly, as they would you. Let them see that you are no better than they... that you can return hate for hate, blow for blow, life for life. What are you waiting for, Rachel, DO IT! Give THEM the final victory!"

As the 'heroes' exit from the scene at the end, the real picture of grace is not that Rachel spared the would-be assassins' lives, but that her comrades have seen what she's really like inside, and will doubtless continue to stand with her.


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