Phil Sheldon is in the final stages of the lung cancer he contracted. While in his hospital room, he receives a very unexpected visitor - Maggie, the mutant girl that stayed with them years ago.
Maggie and Phil watch the television set in his room. One of the main stories of the day is the X-Men's battle in Dallas with time-displaced cavemen and dinosaurs. Maggie is in awe of her mutant bretheren as she claims she lacks the courage to display that type of bravery.
She explains that after she watched the televised demonstration of the Sentinels, she fled to protect the Sheldons. She didn't understand all the details, but she did understand that the robots would hunt mutants. She didn't want them to accidentally be injured if the Sentinels came looking for her.
She stowed away on numerous planes and eventually arrived in New Guinea. She eventually found a remote tribe that accepted her. She eventually grew into the role of tribal doctor and teacher. She arranged for medical supplies and books to be delivered to them via short-wave radio. Her mutant power - projecting x-rays from her eyes - proved to be invaluable by allowing her to see any internal injuries.
Their conversation is interrupted by late-breaking news. Marcia Hardesty - Phil's protege - is now reporting live from Dallas after the previous reporter was injured during the fighting. Phil is pleased that she is doing so well.
When she heard the news that he had contracted lung cancer, she made a special trip back to the U.S. to say "thank you" for protecting her those many years ago. His bravery and compassion have been an inspiration to her throughout her life. Phil confesses that he almost turned her in. He was afraid of the repercussions in protecting a mutant; he didn't know what to do with her. She points out that he did not do that, which is what counts.
Doris, Jen, and Bethie return to his room and are shocked to see Maggie alive and well after all these years. While they catch up, Phil takes one last look at his children - his true legacy - and predicts the body of work that Marcia will accumulate in years to come. Phil passes away in his hospital bed content at his accomplishments.
The turnout for Phil's funeral is immense. Johan, Robbie, Ben Urich, and even Peter come by to pay their respects. Bennett Schwed expresses guilt for pushing Phil to finish another book. Doris explains that working on that actually extended his life. It became a family project, one which will be completed by the agreed deadline. Marcia Hardesty arrives and throws her support to helping the girls finishing the project in honor of her mentor.
As they leave, Marcia explains that she was delayed because she was covering a parade in honor of X-Factor's heroic efforts during a recent invasion. Latverian stormtroopers appeared and tried to assassinate Dr. Doom. Doom was saved by the FF, Black Panter, and X-Factor.
Jenny states that her father would be happy they finally began to respect the mutants.
I was expecting something with the emotional depth that has been present in every issue. I understand that the point of this one is "your children and the people you inspire are your legacy". I get it and agree with it, yet somehow it still felt like it was missing something. I expected Busiek and Stern to take this philosophy and turn it into something truly amazing. For some reason, this didn't quite work out as I had hoped.
2.5 webs. I am slightly disappointed in the resolution of this series. Perhaps the extended wait since the previous issue factors into my opinion, but I don't think that it has too much influence.
They hit all the marks and tied it up neatly, but it's still missing the emotional component of the previous issues.