First Dark Phoenix Footage Sends the X-Men to Space for a Daring Rescue

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Page 2: An Unfortunate Complication Arises

When they got back to the shuttle, Jean and Nightcrawler couldn’t see the captain. Jean held the shuttle together as Nightcrawler searched for him. Unfortunately, Nightcrawler found the captain minutes too late. The solar flare caught the shuttle, forcing Nightcrawler to teleport the captain back. Jean remained behind and took the full brunt of the solar flare with a scream.

The X-Men watched on, horrified, as the shuttle was ripped apart by the flare. Worse, a second flare was headed straight towards them. Clinging to consciousness, Jean used her telepathy to reroute the solar flare to herself, taking another wave of energy into herself. The solar flare seemed to be sucked inside of her and she fainted from the effort.

RELATED: The Visual Evolution of Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique

Quickly, Nightcrawler teleported out into space and back, retrieving her. Everyone watched on, horrified, as Cyclops cradled her face. Her eyes fluttered open. In barely a whisper, she asked if everyone was safe. With an affirmative, the X-Men headed back to Earth with the rescued astronauts.

When they touched down, the X-Men were greeted by a crowd of adoring fans. Many held signs and cheered as they deplaned. A little boy even sported blue face paint, likely in homage to Mystique, Beast or Nightcrawler.

The X-Men soon returned to Xavier’s school, where they met a crowd of young mutant students. Xavier sang the X-Men’s praises and revealed the President had extended his gratitude. Saying he was prouder of his team than he had ever been before, Xavier dismissed classes for the rest of the day. As the team dispersed, he asked Hank to give Jean a routine medical checkup, as she had been through quite an ordeal.

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Clearly unhappy, Mystique followed Xavier back to his office. When she closed the door, she informed him that the President’s accolades had almost been condolences. Xavier waved this off; after all, they had come back in one piece. With a look of disgust, Mystique told him she hoped he wasn’t taking risky missions for the sake of his ego. She implied she cared more about the team than he did and suggested she liked the magazine covers and calls from the President a little too much. When Xavier protested, she turned and left — but not before she said he should reconsider renaming the team to “X-Women,” since they seemed to be doing the bulk of the rescuing these days.

Written and directed by franchise veteran Simon Kinberg, Dark Phoenix stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters and Jessica Chastain,. The film opens June 7, 2019.

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