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When the X-Men arrive in Japan, they find that the city Agarashima is ablaze by a great firestorm caused by an unnatural earthquake! Only one mutant can help them now…their old ally, SUNFIRE!

Reprint of and retroactive backup story to The X-Men #118 - The Submergence of Japan!(February, 1979)

Backup story summary:


Believing that Cyclops and the X-men are dead, Jean Grey finds herself in the south-east islands of Greece for vacation. While admiring the scenery on the Kirinos waterfront, she's pushed into the water by a group of delinquents who steal her bag. Without it, she has no money or passport, and has to wait some days for them to be replaced, leaving her legally stranded.

Outside of the local police station, she meets a man who introduces himself as Nikos. He tells her that he overheard her talking to the police and would like to help. He invites her out to dinner and as they eat he invites her to stay with him until she can get her affairs in order. Though suspicious at first, Jean is convinced that the offer is genuinely benevolent and accepts.

What she doesn't realize is that it was under Nikos' orders that the delinquents stole her bag in the first place, for in fact he is actually the X-men's old adversary Mastermind, working under the glamour of a fabricated identity.

As Nikos, however, he is hospitable, spending all of his time showing her the sights of Kirinos. As he spends the next few weeks entertaining her, she begins to be charmed and their relationship starts to become romantic. But, though he's flirted with her all along, she tells him that she recently lost the man she loves and is not ready to move on yet. Encouraging her to embrace the vitality of her own life rather than morn her dead lover, he convinces her to go clubbing with him.

After some drinks and dancing, they go for a moonlit stroll to some ruins overlooking the city. Nikos talks to her about how the ancient gods lived, high above the concerns of humans, doing as they pleased, and how mutants, as modern-day gods, could themselves do the same. As he talks, Jean considers how she might have saved the X-men had she embraced her god-like powers, and the Phoenix part of her personality starts to emerge. But as the Phoenix embraces and revels in godhood, Jean reigns it back in and refuses to accept that that is who she is.

As she runs off confused into the night, Mastermind reflects on how truly fragmented her mind has become, and is pleased that his part in the corruption of her personality is going so well.


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