The road to hell is paved with good intentions. In a 13-minute Dark Phoenix clip shown at New York Comic Con, the X-Men travel to space on a daring rescue mission, but their altruistic attempt to help humankind may very well lead to the birth of Jean Grey’s Phoenix persona.
The clip kicked off with a space launch montage. With a rumble, the clip cut between the launch, mission control and the astronauts’ anxious faces as the shuttle took off. The shuttle launch seemed to go off without a hitch — that is, until it broke through the atmosphere. Horrified, mission control watched the panicked astronauts disappear from their screens as the feed cut out.
The scene then cut to Professor Charles Xavier and Hank McCoy watching the launch on a television at Xavier’s School for Gifted Mutants. As the news reporter announced the shuttle’s mechanical failure, Xavier glanced at Hank and asked if Hank had finished his updates to the X-jet. Clearly following Xavier’s line of thinking, Hank admitted he had, but that he wasn’t sure if it was space-worthy just yet.
Before Hank and Xavier could continue their conversation, Xavier’s phone rang. He picked it up, only to find the President on the other line. The President asked Xavier if the X-Men could help retrieve the stranded astronauts; with a glance at Hank, who looked unhappy, Xavier agreed.
With no time to lose, the X-Men — including Cyclops, Jean Grey, Quicksilver, Storm, Nightcrawler and Mystique — suited up in their new uniformed and headed to the jet. After Mystique explained the mission, Cyclops aired his misgivings, but she assured him everything would be fine. Jean asked her if that was the truth, only for Mystique to admit she was nervous about it, as the jet’s new capabilities were untested.
The X-Men made it to space without incident. However, as soon they broke through the atmosphere, they saw that wasn’t the case for the shuttle. The shuttle was coming apart, its metal coating peeling pack, and it was spinning in circles due to a broken thruster. Worse, a solar flare was headed directly their way. The X-Men only had a few minutes in which to save the astronauts.
Mystique quickly formulated a plan. She told Nightcrawler to teleport over to the shuttle. When he said he couldn’t, because he didn’t know what was inside, she had Storm use her powers to slow the shuttle’s spin. Nightcrawler then teleported Quicksilver inside. Quicksilver told Nightcrawler to start heading back, then used his super speed to push all the astronauts together so that they touched one another and Nightcrawler. They were all teleported safely back to the X-jet.
No sooner were they safe, the astronauts revealed their captain was still aboard the shuttle. He had gone to fix the thrusters and so wasn’t present during the initial rescue. The X-Men knew they were running out of time, but had a short debate over what course of action to take. Using Cerebro, Xavier insisted Jean could hold the shuttle together long enough for Nightcrawler to rescue the captain. Jean agreed. When Mystique protested, Cyclops stood up for Jean, and so Mystique begrudgingly let her go with Nightcrawler to rescue the captain.
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