It’s “the end” of the classic era of Marvel Comics’ “The End” titles with the X-Men: The End as I go through Book 3 of this trilogy.
Answers are finally given as the mastermind behind everything is finally revealed. Cassandra Nova! Charles Xavier’s parasitic twin sister introduced during Grant Morrison’s run! She has controlled Illiandra, through her and Charles’s son, and moved all the pieces together! SHE, manipulating the Shi’ar Kahn, was responsible for Sinister’s involvement! And what does she want? She wants both Charles’s power plus the Phoenix Force!
And this leads to an epic clash of the Mutants against the Shi’ar Imperial Guard! Just like back during the Dark Phoenix Saga! Rather fitting!
There are many deaths, but so many of them feel either justified OR they get a great farewell!
Overall, I feel like this trilogy was all over the place. It’s complicated, and again it’s typical Claremont, but once you get past the initial confusion in the beginning, it certainly does lead to a satisfying ending. A mess, but it’s a good mess, if that makes any sense.