Dark Web: X-Men #3

Issue Date: 
January 2023
Story Title: 
Two Redheads Enter… One Leaves

Gerry Duggan (writer), Rod Reis & Phil Noto (artists), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer and production), Tom Muller with Jay Bowen (design), Phil Noto (cover artist), Laure Amaro (associate editor), Jordan D. White (editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in-chief),
Spider-Man created by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko

Brief Description: 

Madelyne and Jean are fighting it out, though Jean desperately tries to convince Madelyne that there is no need to fight. In between, she frees Magik. When Madelyne won’t listen, Jean surrenders, giving Madelyne pause. Jean tells Magik to get the other X-Men and spells out that Madelyne didn’t do this to hurt them, but she was after Jean’s memories of the time she raised Madelyne’s son Nathan. They finally begin to talk and forge a connection. Jean and the others who arrive make it clear to Maddie that the X-Men are about second chances, and that includes her. Havok especially stresses he wants to work with Madelyne. Illyana returns with the rest of the team, and Madelyne vows that, with their help, she will put things right again.

Full Summary: 

While fighting off demons and goblins, Forge and Synch have been evacuating New Yorkers into the X-Men’s treehouse, but they are running out of room. Synch has the idea to make more room by sending people away via the Krakoan transit system. He goes to do that. He tells the people there is a gate to New Jersey in the basement. One man complains he doesn’t want to go to New Jersey. Synch suggests he wants to live more, right? The man remains unconvinced.

Forge, in the meantime, uses tech to grow the Krakoan area around the treehouse, driving the demons back, as they are ordered not to harm Krakoa.

Madelyne was created as a clone of Jean Grey by Mr. Sinister, so that Cyclops would fall for her and they might have an interesting child, which they did. But then the real Jean returned, and Madelyne was discarded. Jean and Cyclops lived a short while happily with baby Nathan, until he was sent to the future.

Now, Madelyne sits on Limbo’s throne and wants the memories of the days Jean lived in her stead, especially those of the baby she lost to the future.

And now she is in battle with an angry Jean, who demands what she wants with the Cerebro drive she stole. She wants what was stolen from her! Madelyne rages and lashes out with her power.

Jean blocks the attack and assures Madelyne she feels her pain, even without her mutant gift. It is time for them to heal those wounds and for Madelyne to learn a few things, including who Jean is. No more tricks, no more spells, no more illusions. She tells Illyana she will free her in a moment, after she frees Madelyne.

Madelyne sits on the ground cursing, as the Cerebro unit has been smashed. Jean took them from her again! she laments.

Jean regrets not doing this before. She doesn’t know why Maddie thought she could take what she was looking for in an old back-up of Jean’s mind. What would she take from Jean? Madelyne hisses. How about what Jean took from her! She again lashes out with her powers.

Jean tries to get through to her. When it doesn’t work, she turns Madelyne’s power back on her. Jean steps toward her. Jean begins, stating that she can have what she wants. Yes, she thinks she shall, Madelyne interrupts her. A stepping disk appears behind Jean, from which demons appear and grab her. The notion that she would negotiate or grovel for what is rightfully hers is insulting, Madelyne states. Jean s patience has run out. She telekinetically slams the demons away and shouts now she is pissed!

Who cares, Madelyne shrugs. She’s been pissed off her entire life and… Jean hits her and the two are engaged in a knockdown drag out. When they use their powers, Madelyne is more aggressive but, in the end, Jean proves more powerful. She slams Madelyne against a wall, then telepathically awakes Magik and fills her in on what she missed. It’s a domestic, she adds dryly.

Madelyne attacks with telekinesis, threatening to break the memories out of Jean’s head. Jean tells Illyana that the others could use her help, and this fight is over, because she is surrendering, much to the surprise of the other two women.

Illyana obeys and teleports away. Jean turns to Madelyne. She told her she was trying to heal their wounds, but Maddie was too busy throwing rocks at her to hear her. Madelyne wasn’t looking to hurt Jean with the drive. Madelyne agrees, it was never about Jean. She never got over losing him… she gave birth alone… in a kitchen. He was such a good quiet baby, Jean muses. Unlike the rest of those fussy Summerses. Madelyne agrees, trying not to cry.

Jean spells out that Madelyne was after Jean’s memories of the time before Nathan had to leave. Madelyne insists she wants everything - the good and the bad. Jean agrees and telepathically passes the memories to her. Jean muses she didn’t have him long either. Mutants grow up fast, especially those Summerses. But right now, the world needs the X-Men. She asks Madelyne to say the words. Her, really? Madelyne asks shyly. Jean grins and hands her a psychic megaphone: “To me, my X-men!” Madelyne orders in a normal voice. Is that the best she can do? Jean challenges her and Madelyne shouts her order.

Cyclops and Havok come running, both with several puppies on a leash. Scott explains they are late because they had to save these guys. Alex tells Madelyne he meant everything he said before. The team doesn’t need him but that doesn’t mean he isn’t an X-Man. He’s gonna serve, and he figures that’s in her nature as well. Jean telepathically agrees and tells Maddie to do it her way. Madelyne touches Alex’s shoulder and asks if he would help her fix her mistake in New York. She thinks there is a way she can help make amends. And she owes him an apology. He accepts.

She asks if he is sure he wants to leave his family. His family is stuck with him, Alex replies, and he’ll be an X-Man on his own terms. Now let’s go kick some demon ass!

Jean remarks she knows as well as anyone that the X-Men are about second chances. That’s why she kept pushing the Council to resurrect her. While Maddie still marvels at that, Magik teleports in with the rest of the team and asks if they missed any fighting or kissing.

They missed her learning what the X-Men really are about, Maddie replies, and what it means to be one. Magik put her faith in her and Madelyne let her down. But this is her mess and she is still queen of Limbo, so it is her job to clean up. This ends now!

Plus, they gotta return those dogs to their owners, right, Illyana asks, or can they keep one or two?

Characters Involved: 

Cyclops, Forge, Havok, Jean Grey, Magik, Synch (all X-Men)
Goblin Queen

Story Notes: 

The story concludes in Dark Web: Finale.

The story refers to Jean’s few months of raising baby Nathan but steps around her raising him for years in the future.

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