Marvels: Eye of the Camera #6: Closing the Book

Maggie had returned to thank Phil and his family for their generosity and kindness when she was a girl. They sit in silence for awhile and watch the new reports of the X-Men’s fight in Dallas, Texas. Phil asks Maggie to retell what happened the night she left. Maggie had been playing with Jenny and Bethie. After the girls when to bed, Maggie stayed up a little longer and saw the Sentinels on television. Frightened that the Sentinels will come for her and harm them, she left. Maggie ended up in New Guinea, where a local tribe took her in and protected her. In return for their kindness, Maggie helped them acquire “medical supplies” from the West and taught them to read. She even ordered Phil’s books to be sent to her in New Guinea.

Maggie had learned of Phil’s illness through a radio broadcast and made the journey back to see him. She had always looked up to him and aspired to be as “brave” as he was. But Phil thought of himself as anything but brave, admitting that he was afraid of having his house burned down “for harbouring a mutant”, and that he did not put a lot of effort into searching for her the night she ran off where she could have been killed by the Sentinels. He had even thought of surrendering Maggie to the authorities. But he did not, and Maggie was grateful for that gesture, and since then looked up to Phil as her role model.

Phil sees Marcia on television reporting from Dallas. Marcia, his protege, has become a producer, and he is proud of her. Maggie keeps Phil company as they watch more news reports, this time of a giant spaceship crashing into Manhattan. Two mutants from X-Factor, Cyclops and Marvel Girl saved the city. There are mixed reactions: some are aghast that X-Factor was revealed to be mutants masquerading as mutant hunters; others are grateful to X-Factor for saving their lives. Then the news shifts back to Dallas where the X-Men are reported to have sacrificed their lives to save the city, even the people who hated them.

Doris and the girls return to check on Phil. Maggie decides she should take her leave, but Phil insists that she stay as he knows his daughters will be glad to see her. Jenny and Bethie are excited to be reunited with their old friend. Phil is happy to see his family cheerful, catching up with Maggie on her adventures. Before he turns off the television, Phil sees a policeman thanking Cyclops and Marvel Girl for saving Manhattan. Finding peace, Phil passes quietly, surrounded by his loved ones.

Many esteemed colleagues and eminent figures are present for Phil’s funeral. They have come to celebrate his legacy. Jenny promises Mr Schwed, Phil’s publisher, that she will finish her father’s book with the help of Bethie and Maggie. Marcia steps in to lend her support and guidance, thereby persuading Mr Schwed to let Jenny finish Phil’s book.

Marcia apologizes for arriving late to the funeral. She was covering an important milestone: a parade held in honour of X-Factor for saving Manhattan. Jenny muses that her father would have loved that, to see mutants finally celebrated as heroes.

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