New X-Men # 122-126
The X-Men aren’t in best shape right now. With Cassandra Nova running the Shi’ar Empire into the ground and headed back to Earth, a weird flu (actually Nanosentinels) infecting the cast, and tensions between the school and the rest of the world, the X-Men need a good turn around. And – they do!
Cassandra Nova comes back during a very good-going tour of the school to the media. Ahead of her is the Imperial Guard, who are ordered to destroy all Mutants. Lilandria gets all messed up in the head. Eventually, everything comes together. Jean puts Professor X into her own mind, then every other Mutants, then back into his own head, casting Cassandra Nova out. Emma then places Nova’s mind into the body of a artificial life-form shape-shifter. In the end, we find out that during Xorn’s attack, he healed Professor X’s spine. So he can walk again.
Ultimately, this is among the best Morrison offers. The art goes from great (Quietly), to mediocre (Van Sciver), to really bad (Kordey – but there were problems behind the scenes). There’s some genius stuff here. The way the Shi’ar are portrayed is exceptionally good, perhaps one of the best I’ve seen. The Nanosentinels are a great concept.
The characterization is on high. Jean shines through, especially. All of the X-Men have great moments, here. Damn. What a good story.