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R.I.P. Jean

“Dude! Jean Grey dies at the end." a friend of mine concludes a steaming conversation we were having right after the movie X2 was released. I was completely startled to hear that. Jean Grey dies? But how does that happen? Then there would be a major flaw in the movie's plot. Then I heard similar rumors about Jean Grey's death in X2 from numerous people and was compelled to watch the movie myself. Actually I'm a big X-Fan but I usually don't like watching my favorite movies before the master print arrives in the market. But this I had to see for myself. So I bought the hall-print DVD and watched the whole movie thoroughly. Upon watching it my suspicions were confirmed that, actually Jean Grey doesn't die at the end of X2.
If you watch the movie with a mind to understand every single detail of the plot you will notice certain things that people watching too much action flicks won't. From the starting, in the scene where we first see Jean Grey, in the museum, chaperoning the students to an excursion, we find her having trouble to cope with her ever-increasing power of telepathy. And it is clearly visible that there is a bright flare in her eyes. We see more of this unusual occurrence when she battles her teammate cum team leader cum devoted lover Cyclops (under Stryker's control). Her hands flame up and the flare in her eyes brightens even more. And at the end when she tries to stop the furious currents of the water gushing from the cracks of the dam and at the same time levitate the X-Jet with her telekinesis she displays more of her new powers as all her body flames up and her eyes glaring with the fire of some unworldly being. And then the X-Jet takes off and Jean is swallowed by the water. Jean Grey dies drowning in the depths of Alkali Lake (or does she?).
If you remember well enough, after Jean went out to save the X-Jet she closed the ramp so Cyclops (revived from Stryker's mind control) couldn't get out. Then she spoke to Cyclops through a psychic link via Professor X. She said that, she made a choice. That explains that she had a vague idea of that she was going to survive. Then in the scene when Cyclops and Wolverine lament over there lost love, Xavier looks out through the window and when the kids come in for their class and Jubilee asks if everything is alright, he replies with grin of relief, "Everything will be just fine." That explains that Jean Grey is well and alive out there, having a great time with her awesome new powers.
Sorry to let you in all that. It might be considered as a spoiler. But what the plot writers did was that they played a gambit that will make both X2 and X-Men 3 interesting. Throughout the X2 movie Jean Grey is transformed into one of the most powerful mutants out there, the Phoenix (I think they had a nice picture of her in the background of that "Of Super-Heroes, Fantasies and Comics" article). At the last scene of X2 they take us back to Alkali Lake (Jean Grey's supposed resting place), where in the back Jean Grey gives us her version of that old monologue. Mutation. It is the key to our evolution. It has enabled us to evolve from a single celled amoeba to…
blah, blah, and blah. Why do you think they would show us that part? Well if watched the scenes that follow closely you would have understood. As the camera soars above Alkali Lake they clearly show a white bird-like figure under water and that is the Phoenix. Oh, don't be so down. Jean Grey wasn't turned into a bird. It's the flaming force that surrounds her. I bet before X-Men 3 she'll have a lot of practice with her new power so we can expect some awesome action in the upcoming sequel.
The thing is people who haven't read the comics were unable to understand what happens at the end of X2. That's why so many people still go around saying that Jean Grey died in X2. So I hope this clears the air.
Before ending this I would like to add a few things about X-Men 3. It will be third and last X-Men movie. Yes, readers, it will be a trilogy just like the Blade movies (I wonder if they'll do that to Spider-Man too). You will find this better than the prequels, though in my opinion the last two movies were tremendously successful in turns of being to true to the original story of the uncanny comic book series. There will be more new mutants. The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants will be as dangerous as ever.
There will be Juggernaut, Gambit, Beast, maybe Arch Angel and lots more. Allan Cumming won't be on the set so there will be no Nightcrawler in this movie. Be prepared to endeavor the wrath of the Dark Phoenix. Yes, Phoenix will turn hot and bad. The only sad part is Bryan Singer won't be on the director's chair for this movie. I really liked his style of narrating the scenes of the plot.
We will be seeing more of the Asian-American teen hottie Jubilee (one of my most favorite characters). By the way, in X2 when the televisions in the museum fluctuated it wasn't Jean Grey. It was Jubilation Lee, enraged after watching a video clip about how mutants should be exterminated. I got that off an original DVD copy I got from Malaysia. It was in the deleted scenes.
Anyway, be on the look out for more X-Men 3 information in the pages of the RS. I'm hoping to review the movie myself after it will be out sometime in the summer of next year (hopefully). For more X-Men movie info you can log on to www.superherohype.com/x-men.

[Note from the author: Most comic fans out there might already know about all this. If there are any complaints or queries contact me at voldemort2099@yahoo.com.]

By Knafice-Man

The janitor

Suddenly I realized what had happened. The building had been closed for the night and I was locked in. The heavy wooden doors were locked, and the large foyer was in darkness, except for the two pale rectangles of moonlight on the floor, streaming in from the twin windows. The Newberry Library is never a pleasant place to be in: it is old and decrepit, damp and full of draughts, and it is very large, with ridiculously high ceilings and wide hallways. It is a building that seems to be brooding over some past tragedy; its very atmosphere is restless and disquieting.
I made no attempt to turn on any lights, because I didn't have a clue as to how you actually went about turning on one of the ancient gas-powered fixtures that the Newberry has. Instead, I decided to explore the place. This was not a decision that I came to purely out of curiosity; the absolute, enveloping silence in the foyer was starting to make me nervous, and I knew I couldn't just stand here all night. So, walking slowly and cautiously, I wandered around the building. In twenty minutes, I had been in, and examined the contents of all the rooms on the ground floor, and I
made my way up the creaking wooden stairs to the first floor.
Walking up to the first door on my right in a long hallway, Ti read the words "Boiler Room" by the moonlight. I opened the door and entered. To my surprise, there was a man sitting on the floor. He was leaning against the wall adjacent to the one in which the door was set, and the door nearly hit him as I swung it open.
'Er, hello,' I said. 'So you're locked in too?'
He turned slowly to me. I could only really make out his eyes in the darkness. He said, 'Yes, I am a prisoner here.'
I thought it was a rather strange choice of words, but I let it pass. I asked him why he'd chosen the boiler room to spend the night, and he replied, 'I work here. I'm the janitor.' There was a long silence, and then he said, 'It's a lonely job. I have no one to talk to.' I sympathized with him, but before I could finish what I was saying, he cut me off by asking, 'Do you have any children?'- I replied that I had a daughter, yes- 'Tell me about her.'
It seemed a strange request to make, under the circumstances, but I complied, because, looking into his eyes, I got the very strange and disturbing impression that he was pleading with me, that he needed to hear about my daughter. It was eerie.
I told him about Alba, my beautiful nine-year-old. I'm sure I spent nearly half an hour going on about her, and the man never interrupted me. He had his eyes closed for most of the time. Finally, I had nothing more to say. There was another silence, a much longer one. Then he said, in a voice so laden with sadness that it nearly brought me to tears, 'My daughter died in this room.'
I said I was very sorry to hear that, and I was about to ask him how it happened, but he cut me off again. He said, 'Follow me,' and slowly got up. He led me down the stairs, through the ground floor corridor, across the foyer, and to the front doors. Then, without one word, he produced a key, unlocked them, and threw them open.
He stood aside, waiting for me to leave. Suddenly I wanted to know more about this man. 'Aren't you leaving?' I asked. He shook his head slowly, not looking at me. I asked him his name, but he only shook his head again. Now he placed his hands on my shoulders (what cold hands!) and guided me out, and started to close the doors.
Desperate to find out something about him, I shouted to him, 'Since when have you been working here?'
Through the now closed doors, I heard him answer, '1835'.

By Ace of Hearts

In a week's work

He checked the temperature and quickly ins ribed some medications, handing the paper over to mom. "Don't worry," he said to me. "Drink plenty of water and the medicines properly. You would be fine in no time!"
I stared at the man; I wondered how this person, who had experienced so many deaths in front of his eyes from a young age, who had fought the cold war in 1971, could still put up a wonderful smile paired up with sparkling eyes. I looked at the calendar. Today was Saturday.
The next day started with gusty winds waking me up in shivers. I felt my throat with the back of my hands and it still felt warm, but I was a thousand times better than yesterday. I went downstairs after refreshing. I heard tapping from the kitchen, and an aroma of sweet mangoes filled the dining room.
"Good morning dad!" I said as I entered the kitchen.
"How are you feeling today?" dad asked
"Better, just a bit sore." I felt my tonsils.
"Okay have some mangoes." Dad pushed the mangoes forward
Later on, dad dropped me off at my friend's house. I stood at the gate and waved till the car was out of sight.
Monday, 16th July 2005
Dear Diary,
Four more days to go before my birthday! I wonder what I am going to get this year. Last year, mother gave me a nice kameez, while dad gave me some money to spend. I saved it up for some reason. Anyways, I just realized that I am going to be an adult soon! So many responsibilities…
and yet maybe I am going to face restrictions being a girl. So much for gender equality! My CD-player is disturbing again…I wonder if Mr. Home Mechanic can fix it this time. BTW the fever is over and out =)

Tuesday. Boring…even more boring without any studies! I had nothing to do other than stare at the TV. Dad was right in saying I would be sleepless after my exams. It seemed as if all the good shows came up during exam times, not to mention the Sleep Fairy! Sighs again! I wondered when dad would come home that night. I couldn't wait to show him the graphics design I came up with.
CMD…Computer Meridian Diagnostics. The CEO of CritiCare.Com said he would hire me, once I get to learn the basics. Dad a.k.a CEO was going to show me how to operate this Russian Space Station Technology! I was so excited that I could have climbed trees! I looked at my watch. WEDNESDAY.
Thursday, 19th July 2005
Dear Diary,
One more day to go for my birthday. I wonder why I haven't got any reply from RS. At least a rejection letter would've spared me sleepless nights! So long for curtseys!
Yesterday was interesting. I learnt the basics of CMD and how a simple laser beam can diagnose our problems, wire it to the Internet and compare the information with millions of people around the world. I decided to take up Electrical Engineering as my major. Papa encouraged me to go for whatever interested me the most.

Friday, 20th July 2005
Dear Diary,
It's my birthday! But, why don't I feel happy? Is being 18 so bad? G2G knock on the door.

"Come in!"
"Happy Birthday Shamma!!!" Mom, dad and brother came in.
"Thank you abbu ammu! Thank you bhaiya! How come you didn't go to office yet papa?" I asked.
"Well how can I go today without wishing my only daughter?" came the reply.
I welled up, "Dad, love you!" I hugged him, "Momma I love you too! You guys must be the best parents in the whole world!"
Later that night, I saw dad building a cage. "This one's for your rabbit." He said.
I stared at him, I wanted to express something but was speechless.
Dad…I don't need a Father's Day to let you know how much you mean to our family and me. You are a Mukti-Jodhdha, a diligent doctor, a hard-working entrepreneur, an electrician, a carpenter, a cook, a wonderful dad and a loving husband to my mom…all at the same time. As you juggle things up so easily, if there is ever a movie called "Super dad" I would make you the hero!
I have only two words to express for you papa…"LOVE" and "RESPECT"

By Shamma Manzoor Raghib


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