This third issue entitled A Life in the Mind was scintillating mostly because it was a great way to expand on how the relationships among these youngsters really work, especially when they find themselves in crazy scenarios such as--oh, I don't know--getting accidentally trapped in the topsy-turvy mindscape of their telepath professor who happened to get himself knackered while using the Cerebro, altering the consciousness of everyone in the mansion. So I guess we are once again continuing the streak of humorously depicting the professor's neglectful parenting skills if not his tendency for blatant child endangerment. But it's okay because everything about this series is not meant to be taken seriously. You know that these promising superheroes will find a way to save themselves even from Chuck's unintentional lapses in good judgment--all the while having a laugh about it afterwards. Case in point, this hilarious issue.
Being the perceptive one with mind power, Jean Grey was the first one to notice that something odd is happening around the mansion: suddenly, they have a nanny who makes them pancakes, Blob is joining them for breakfast much to Scott's chagrin because "fat boy" might steal all the bacon. And Scott himself isn't shooting goddamn laser beams from his eyes too, while Charles and Magnus are in the living room, playing chess. Oh, Juggernaut keeps running around the household like nobody's business. I'm surprised he wasn't shouting the annoying meme of a catchphrase of his too (which I will not type here because I assume you know what I'm referring to anyway). Also, Jarvis is their butler. And Charles can walk.
Yeeeahhh, 'odd' does not even cover the half of it.
So Jean figures out that they must be in some kind of alternate reality so she gets the boys to snap out of it so the five of them can navigate the dangerous trenches of Charles Xavier's subconscious. They later discover that they have been sleeping peacefully when the professor decided to take a stroll with Cerebro and for some reason accidentally got caught in some sort of messed-up echo where his powerful mind and the machine's relentlessly keep going back and forth with each other (as Bobby explained: "They're stuck in a feedback loop. Like a microphone aimed into a speaker" much to the surprise of his fellow teammates whom Bobby got annoyed with because they didn't think he could even understand whatever is going on). In addition, their own memories are shaping the alternate reality they are trapped in so all they had to do, I guess, is focus all their collective mental powers to find Charles inside the maze to shake him off the trance.
But Bobby had a better idea. He started shouting names at the Juggernaut so he would attack this weird-ass mainframe that apparently controls everything in the mindscape. In spite of the humorous way this story was told, there are small poignant moments in between too, particularly in reference to the psyche of the professor who is more disturbed than he lets on, as his students eventually realize when they reached a surface where detached heads of Sentinels litter the land which I suppose speaks to how much the professor is bothered by their existence that they even have a special nightmarish place in his mindscape. I also really liked that moment when Charles as a young boy appears among them, shaking in fear as the Juggernaut (his asshole stepbrother) tries to smash into him but Jean holds the boy close and reassures him that he won't get hurt, that this all a bad dream and they're going to be waking up soon, safe and sound.
They did successfully manage to get the fuck out of the professor's mind, probably silently and unanimously agreeing never to leave Charles alone with Cerebro again, all the while smiling at him to disguise the awkwardness of being able to experience their surrogate father's deepest fears and insecurities via mind-fuck. Now they can never stop craving for pancakes and waffles in the morning.
My favorite part of the entire issue, naturally, is that surprise appearance of Magneto. He's playing chess with Charles, of course, because this reviewer/shipper believes immensely that it's their symbolic activity for both foreplay and non-penetrative sex. After all, didn't they use chess as a courtship device back in the Victorian times?
When you see Charles/Erik in Freudian-colored lenses, this is the kind of shit you can come up with, you know.
And yes, I'm ending this review with that panel above as I paint alongside it a lovely image of said debauchery in your head.