Warning: SPOILERS for Dark Web: X-Men #3
That X-Men’s the first major battle of 2023 ends in the complete opposite way that most fans would expect – not with a major battle, but with a surrender and understanding of the enemy. The X-Men begin the new year after surviving the cataclysmic events Doomsday and Mr. Sinister’s machinations only to run headfirst into the Dark Web event. IN Dark Web: X-Men #3the event’s ultimate villain is defeated not through a series of battles and the use of mutant powers, but through kindness Jean Greya candidate for the new leader of the X-Men.
The after effects of Doomsday left the X-Men island of Krakoa in ruins, but the nation could eventually be saved. The same could not be said for the secret of mutant resurrection, which infuriated humanity and made them fear mutants more than ever before. The last month of 2022 led to Dark Web event in which Peter Parker’s clone Ben Reilly gained new, mysterious powers and used them to plunge Earth into a world of inanimate objects coming to life; these mechanical monsters are trying to devour civilians left and right. One of the culprits behind the event is none other than Madelyn Pryor: Jean Grey’s evil clone.
IN Dark Web: X-Men #3, written by Gerry Duggan with art by Rod Reis & Phil Noto, Jean Gray comes face to face with Pryor in her castle in Limbo. Pryor demands Jean Grey’s memories, and Jean realizes that Pryor wants exactly one thing: “You were after the memories of my time with Nathan before he had to go.” Jean realizes, referring to Nathan Summers, better known as Cable – Madelyn’s son. Pryor, disarmed, had no idea that Jean would simply give up her memories without a fight. “Giving these memories for you,” says Jean “do not take them from me.”
The X-Men win by understanding the villain and not fighting her
Madelyn Pryor was simply another tool for Mr. Sinister (who has since taken an even bigger step against the entire nation of Krakoa), and it’s only logical that Jean Gray would help her clone. After all, Jean herself was a victim of Mastermind and the Hellfire Club during the events of Dark Phoenix Saga; both Jean and Madelyn were manipulated and are far from evil, but are certainly misunderstood and perhaps even feared. This event also shows Jean’s skills as a leader – other X-Men would happily attack Pryor until she relented, but Jean is compassionate; she doesn’t need her telepathic powers to see a person’s true nature.
That Dark Web The event is fast approaching its conclusion, but the X-Men have already decided that 2023 is the year of understanding and not violence. Doomsday has taught them that the team must come together through hope in the end (and Jean’s own Phoenix Foundation proves it), and prospects look better than ever for the team in the new year. That X-Men’s Time in Dark Web the event may be coming to an end, but their year has just begun.
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