X-Men: Legacy #216-
Our story begins where we last left off, where Charles Xavier had telepathically gotten into the mind of Cyclops, and asked him out into the woods outside the San Francisco Marin Base to discuss the fact that Charles has learned about how he was genetically tampered with by Mr. Sinister, and Cyclops, he feels, may also might want to consider the fact that Essex did the same to him when he was being held by him in a Nebraska orphanage as a child.
Unfortunately, Scott Summers didn't take kindly towards being walked out of his own base and manipulated by Charles "for his own good". That's been a pattern in life he's developed some resentment about of late. And, so, in turn, has his main squeeze and current matriarch of the X-Men, Emma Frost.
Emma was aware of Charle's presence the whole time. And boy, did she make the most of it to prepare for quite the battle of telepaths.
While Charles was focused on talking to Scott, and trying to explain the whole Sinister thing, Emma was in Scott's head when Charles took control of it (formulate your own theories about that), and once Charles made contact, she remained hidden within, but was picking away at Charles' subconscious, installing blocks and inhibitions. Failsafes, and blindspits, as she felt necessary. As Emma puts it, "We're in my mindscape now. And at the risk of sounding vulgar... I own you."
Scott reiterates that whether the Professor likes it or not, Emma's going to look through his head, and assure that Mr. Sinister hasn't taken control of his mind. So Emma's going to go through some of Charles' uglier memories, to see how he reacts to them, and prove if it's really him or not.
The first memory is from the origin of Hank McCoy, the Beast (as referenced in [backstories in X-Men (vol. 1) #49-53, Marvel Comics Presents (vol. 1)#85-88]). And Emma points out how altruistic Xavier made himself sound when recruiting Beast. And then, immediately, he wanted to play God and wipe the memory of Hank McCoy from all his hometown of Dunfee, Illinois. And as Xavier relives this memory, Emma reads his thoughts, and learns he looks back on it with doubt, uncertainty, and the possibility that he did it just to prove he could to himself. Xavier demands they move on...
To another emotionally charged day in Xavier's life, when a young woman named Rogue came to him, terrified that she was going crazy, and wanting help controlling her powers (for the uninformed, it's Uncanny X-Men #171). Xavier had just claimed to Emma that he "doesn't presume to speculate how God feels". Well, Emma proves him wrong on that account, since he actually told her, "Like everything else you've ever done, your coming here was motivated entirely by self-interest. You want to be saved from the consequences of your own ruthlessness and cruelty. In time, you might be worthy of that salvation. In time, I might be prepared to offer it. To help you control your power. That time is far away. You must prove yourself, Rogue. I offer no pardons, and no gifts."
Even if you don't like her... Point for Emma.
And, making it worse, is Emma points out he lied to her and gave her the false hope for a cure he couldn't provide. Xavier admits, he said what he said because if he told her he couldn't help, she'd have fled back to Mystique (bet this comes into play after Rogue gets done with her soul-searching in Austrailia, huh?). Anyway, Charles claims he'd forgotten this day, and Emma thinks his mind suppressed it on purpose. Xavier starts thinking it's for the best, because he was arrogant, and self-sure, and Emma goes and slaps him across the face (telepathically, of course), because he started preaching again. Charles tries pointing out that it comes with being a telepath, and Emma doesn't pretend to be a saint, telling him, "Our sins are greater because our reach is greater." At least she admits it, I give her that. And she moves to the next, unpleasant memory...
The day that Cyclops got back to the mansion, after escaping Krakoa (as it was revealed in X-Men: Deadly Genesis #6). He got away, but left Alex and Jean behind, and just after learning he had a brother named Gabriel, Scott watched him die. Or so he thought.
Xavier feels so guilty about this one, he actually starts reliving it, rather than watching it dispassionately with Emma, finding himself in the wheelchair in the memory. He doesn't even try arguing with her, but she points out his defense would be that Scott needed to be on his feet to lead a team back in to rescue those who were still alive... and that's why he went ahead and played God again, and forced Scott to forget Gabriel, so he could cope.
Xavier tries to just say he's guilty to be done with it, and Emma knows he's trying to avoid really thinking about it, so she goes full-on with memories, showing him when he killed Cassandra Nova in the womb (revealed in X-Men (vol. 2) #121), mindwiped Magneto (X-Men (vol. 2) #25), tried to telepathically force Amelia Voght not to leave him (revealed in [I]Uncanny X-Men #309/I]), and another where he telepathically tried to read the mind of Wolverine (okay, this one I'm stumped. Someone can help, if they'd like.)
In the real world, Charles is on the ground, wracked with pain, and even Cyclops is wondering what Emma's doing to him. She assures him, she's just clarifying the issues, and asks to be left to finish her work.
Xavier, inside his mind, tells Emma she's made her point, and to leave him, and she just asks, "What was my point?"
After giving him a bit of a tongue lashing, and considering that Cyclops avoided years of grief over Gabriel, but that it still was clearly wrong, Emma tells him, "You make the choice, and then you live with the consequences. Just like we all have to do."
She adds, though, "Listen well to those who love you." This statement gives Xavier pause, it's something Emma picked out of his head during her time in it. She asks if he wants context, and at first he's hesitant, until he realizes it was Moira MacTaggart who said it, while she was dying. Jean had to help Xavier maintain contact telepathically, to see her on the Astral Plane in her last moments (X-Men (vol. 2) #108). Xavier had to be pulled back from Moira before she died by Jean, risking dying himself if he maintained telepathic contact with her.
Xavier is humbled to the point of tears, at Moira's last words to him, and as he stands, being released by Emma, and standing before her and Scott, that Jean Grey once told him... (To those looking for Charles redemption in this issue... the first thing he does after Emma psionically jackslaps him is throw Jean Grey's name out there. If that's not a "HAW, HAW! SUCK IT EMMA!" way to conclude their talk, well... it's a small consolation, but Charles does it)
Anyway, Jean Grey once told Xavier, "Death and birth can sometimes be the same thing. When your life stops, new possibilities open up." Scott's surprised, never having known Jean to say that, but he admits, that if anyone would know that, it'd be her.
But this is Xavier confirming, he wants to start anew. And, he extends a hand to Cyclops, telling him that it was good to see him, and know he left the X-Men in such good hands.
After a long, awkward pause, our final panel is Scott accepting his mentor's handshake.
If you need action, no, this was not the issue for you. However, if you like nods to continuity, and can appreciate the story of a man confronting his demons, and having to move on emotionally, admitting he was wrong, and trying to begin a path of redemption? Then yes, you might just like this issue.
Art is solid. Character work by Mike Carey is spectacular, and Emma is as icy, clever and catty as she needs to be. Scott wasn't totally cold, he still showed concern for Xavier when he was hurt, and in the end, accepted what his mentor had to say.
Emma's ownage on Xavier is explained because Chuck-Bomb left himself vulnerable while he was managing Scott, and she took full advantage, so unless you just loathe Emma, you could justify how a less powerful telepath got the upper hand... by having more time to prepare for psionic combat. And then, coldly hitting every one of Charles' buttons to maintain the offensive.
I'll go 8/10 on this one.