Issue Date: August 2005
Story Title: School’s Out Forever
Staff: Nunzio DeFillippis & Christina Weir (writers), Paco Medina (pencils), Juan Vlasco (inks), Pete Pantazis (colors), Dave Sharpe (letters), Michael Ryan (cover), Sean Ryan (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (associate editor), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)
After giving the Hellions their award for wining this year’s Field Day, the Xavier Institute is attacked by a rampaging Blob! Meanwhile, Shan meets up with Rahne in District X’ Mutant Town, and asks her to consider to coming back to Xavier’s, since Shan can’t handle so many squads. However, Rahne thinks she’s of more value to Madrox’ X-Factor detective agency, which she is now a member of, since a lot of desperate people hire their services, like today. They say goodbye, and Shan returns to the Institute alone. There, the New Mutants, the Hellions and the Stepford Cuckoos combine their several powers to bring the Blob down. The plan eventually works, and the Blob is arrested and apprehended by SHIELD. Recovering from the battle, Magma agrees to become part of the faculty staff next semester. Laurie makes up with her mom, and Sofia and Julian spend some time together talking. Noriko confronts David about his dream sequence in which they were married, and asks him to get over it, because it is driving her insane. Josh wants to talk things out with David, but he doesn’t want to discuss it now. Josh wants to, since they are going to be in the same squad next semester, but David tells Josh to look in front of himself. They take a look at everyone walking their separate ways, and David fears that the New Mutants… are finished!
The Xavier School For Higher Learning, the Annual Prizegiving Ceremony…
Sofia walks up to Laurie’s mother and asks Gail if she has come to see Laurie. Gail admits that she had hoped to speak to her today. Sofia hopes so too, because Laurie wouldn’t talk to her last night, and she honestly doesn’t understand why Laurie would use her pheromone powers on David like that. Gail doesn’t understand either, as she taught Laurie better and always reminded her about the bad way her father used his similar powers for evil.
But, Gail says, she has also come to support all of the kids here at the school, and asks Sofia if the New Mutants are going to win any prices today. Sofia thinks maybe David for Academic Achievement, but not the New Mutants as a team, as their chemistry has been… off lately. Laurie passes by and says hi to both her mom and Sofia, but, before Gail can say anything, Laurie passes them and walks over to the rest of the team.
Elsewhere, Dani and Magma are talking. Amara has noticed how much time Dani has been spending with the FBI agent. Dani admits that she likes Agent Pierce, which Amara has noticed. Dani changes the subject, as she didn’t invite Amara to the school to discuss her love life: she wants to know what Amara thinks of the job offer. Amara has been thinking about it since she got the offer, but wants to know if Scott and Emma really want her on staff. Dani admits that, since they desperately need new faculty. Plus, Amara will always have a home there. Nonetheless, Dani is really glad that Amara is there today, since all the senior faculty are away. Amara tells her friend to hold, as she hasn’t agreed on anything yet. But, she’ll be glad to help with the Prize-giving, should that be needed. Dani thanks her, but thinks she can handle it. But with the X-Men away, she’s glad to have backup, in case something goes wrong.
Dani couldn’t be more right: at the same time, the Blob and his kidnapped chauffeur enter Salem Center, and the Blob is glad to be back, as it has been a long time. He warns the Xavier Institute to be ready, because here comes the Blob!
Rahne is searching for a missing guy’s scent in a trashcan, but can’t find anything. She asks the various Multiple Men if they’ve found anything, but they haven’t either. Shan enters, and jokes that Rahne really has moved on to bigger and better things. Rahne corrects that she truly has: a mother hired them to track down her ex, who kidnapped their daughter. The poor woman is sick with grief. Jamie tells Rahne she can take a break, as neither the guy nor the kid are there, and it looks like she and Shan have some catching up to do.
They go to a diner. Shan notices that Rahne doesn’t hide her accent anymore. Rahne explains that she doesn’t need to impress Jamie, as he knows her as an adult. And she needed to impress Dani and Shan, because they’ll always see her as the wee one from their school days. Shan asks Rahne if she and Jamie are together. Rahne denies that. Maybe there’s one of his duplicates who feels that way, but then there’s one duplicate of Jamie who feels that way about anyone.
Shan apologizes for coming on hard on Rahne before, but things have been hectically at the school lately. Rahne knows, as she heard what happened to Northstar. Shan mentions that the school has her covering Jean-Paul’s squad now, including the one from Rahne. Rahne asks about the younger kids. Shan has them, too! She is exhausted. She tells Rahne she knows what happened between her and Josh was bad, but her squad really misses her. Shan also knows that Dani was angry and, if Rahne comes back, she’ll have to deal with Dani and the consequences. But she knows Rahne is strong enough to handle both situations, and wants her to at least think about coming back.
The Xavier Institute…
Dani begins her speech. She mentions that it’s been a big year for all of them. And, as the students know, they have instituted a new Field Day Program that allows squads of students to compete against one another, and that it was a chance to learn strategic thinking and teamwork. And now, Dani would like to award the trophy to the squad that has performed the best. It should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the standings.
Julian already stands up, but Mercury asks him to wait, as Dani hasn’t said his name yet. Julian doesn’t want to wait, as he knows she is just going to call their names. Dani calls forward the squad who’s impressive performance won this year’s Field Day events: the Hellions!
Josh calls it a waste, and thinks it should have been they who won the prize. David tells Josh to just shut up. Noriko doesn’t care, and thinks it’s still great that David is going to win the Award for Academic Excellence. Jay thinks so too. David isn’t sure, as he has been thinking about his senior year, and thinks about maybe skipping school early. Dani continues the ceremony, and hands out the Award for the student who has most improved. Laurie notices her sad mother walking away.
Though, the Blob tells her to wait, and throws the fence against her, making Gail faint! Everyone starts to panic! Dani warns everyone to get inside. Laurie wants to go help her mother, but Dani tells her to just go inside as she’ll get her. The Blob laughs, as he’s immovable, but Amara flames up and tells Blob that she has heard he’s only immovable when there’s ground beneath him. She attacks him with hot fire. The Blob begs her to stop, as… it tickles!
Magma continues her attack, but the Blob pushes her aside. He goes over to the kids, thinking they might do the trick. Julian protects them with his telekinetic forcefield. Pierce tries to shoot Blob, but the bullets don’t even hurt him. Dani moves closer to the Blob. She knows he can’t feel pain, but what about fear? The Blob relieves his days at the circus where everyone was laughing at him, and how Wolverine mocked that he wasn’t one of his worst enemies, and the fact that Exodus didn’t invite him in his new Brotherhood, thinking him to be useless.
Blob shouts that he isn’t useless and, covering the tears in his eyes, he breaks a nearby tree and pushes it towards Dani. Justin manages to just in time rescue her. Inside, Julian and Josh are watching the battle. Josh wants to go do something. Julian agrees, but wants the Hellions to go save the day, as they’ve got more firepower. David corrects that this isn’t about squads: they all have to do something.
Dryad fears that they could get killed out there, or give the Blob even more targets to hit. David agrees, but at the same time they could also give the Blob more opponents. He thinks that Dryad is right and that a handful of the students should be enough to deal with the Blob. Julian agrees, and asks David, since he is the big brain, what they should do. David uses his goggles, and analyzes that the Blob is super-strong and immovable when his feet are planted and immune to almost every kind of harm. David wants the other squads to stay inside and protect the younger students, while the New Mutants and the Hellions move over to action. David also asks the Stepford Cuckoos to telepathically coordinate their attacks, which they promise to do.
With everything agreed, the combined forces of the Hellions and New Mutants move outside, ready to confront the Blob! Julian traps him inside his forcefield, and Sofia hits him with her winds, planning to make sure Blob will feel it. The Blob tries to get out of the forcefield, wanting to make the kids pay for this. David telepathically warns Jay to get Sofia into safety, which he does. Julian is still there, but David has a plan.
Tag uses his powers to increase Julian’s, and they make the Blob want to run. Kevin realizes that the Blob is only going to run if he’s out of range of Brian’s tag effect. Kevin wants to go in and use his powers on the Blob. Mercury realizes that Kevin’s attack could have two effects: either way his powers won’t work and the Blob will kill Kevin, or else Kevin’s powers will work and he’ll kill the Blob. Either way, Cess won’t let that happen.
Josh notices that the Blob is still standing, and asks Laurie to use her pheromone powers. Laurie thinks they are useless and wants to forget about the Blob, since her mom is injured. She asks Josh if he can help her with his powers. Josh runs outside, joking Dani that he never does what he’s told and that’s why he isn’t inside, and heals Laurie’s mom and tells Laurie to do her thing.
Noriko sees all their attacks to be useless, and wants to overload her gauntlets by sucking in all the juice, and then release it. David remembers his dream sequence in which Nori did the same, which killed him and destroyed the White House, and shouts to her not to do it. Noriko doesn’t understand. David shouts her not to be stupid, and never suggest such a thing. He noticed that the Blob was affected by Tag, which means telepathy works with him, which is the territory of the Stepfords.
Laurie runs towards the Blob, and uses her pheromone powers on him to make him fall asleep. The Blob is stronger than the attack, since he has been in control of his body his entire life and won’t obey. The Cuckoos move in, and use their combined telepathic powers to render the villain asleep. The Blob falls down and almost hits Laurie but, luckily, she is rescued in time by Jay, who flies her to safety before impact.
Rahne shows Shan around Mutant Town. Rahne finds it weird that mutants finally have a place for their own. Shan mentions that they’ve always had such a place at the school. Madrox runs towards Rahne, warning that their guy has come home and it’s time for them to make their move. Rahne takes a quick goodbye from Shan, telling her that the school isn’t her home now, but maybe someday. She leaves together with the Multiple Man, and asks Shan to tell her former squad that she is sorry.
SHIELD agents arrive to apprehend the Blob. Since he’s too fat for them to move, Julian offers his powers and helps out. Justin says since SHIELD now has the Blob, the case is out of his jurisdiction, but promises to find ways to stay in touch with it. Magma felt good to defend the school again, and to see the students do the same thing. She agrees to stay, and start working next semester.
Laurie walks over to her recovering mother. She says hi, but Gail tells her it’s okay: Laurie doesn’t have to say a word. She loves her too. Julian walks over to Sofia, telling her that the whole squad rivalry thing was overrated, and that they worked together just fine when they needed to. Julian asks Sofia what she thinks about his earlier offer: he’s inviting his squad over to his parent’s house for a few weeks, promising that it’ll be a blast and that he’ll be good. Sofia smiles, and tells Julian to keep trying as it makes her happy. Though, seeing Laurie and her mom back together, she thinks their plans are going to work out just fine now. She asks Julian to spend some time together another time. That’s fine by Julian, but he’ll hold Sofia to the promise.
David walks over to Noriko, who sits along against a tree. He wants to talk to her about before, and just thought that Nori should never blow herself up. Noriko tells him not to be stupid: she just wanted to blow up her gauntlets! She shouts at David to get over about whatever happened between them in his dream sequence, since it’s driving her crazy. She also doesn’t care that David has a thing for her and saw them married, but she wants him to stop treating her like garbage. David is left speechless, and Noriko just walks away from him, followed by Jay.
Josh meets up with David, wanting to have a talk. David doesn’t want to have it now. Julian doesn’t want to wait and want to talk right now, because next year they’ll still be in the same squad. David tells Josh to just look in front of him, and notices everyone walking their separate ways. He asks Josh what squad he is talking about, since… the New Mutants are finished!
Elixer, Icarus, Prodigy, Surge, Wallflower, Wind Dancer (all New Mutants)
Hellion, Dust, Mercury, Rockslide, Tag, Wither (all the Hellions)
Dyrad, Stepford Cuckoos (all the Corsairs)
Karma, Moonstar (all Xavier Institute teachers)
Multiple Man, Wolfsbane (all X-Factor Investigators)
his kidnapped chauffeur (unnamed)
various other Xavier Institute students and their parents
several SHIELD agents and residents of District X (all unnamed)
in the Blob’s memories:
Jean Grey, Wolverine (all X-Men)
circus performers (all unnamed)
Though released after it, this issue takes place before New X-Men: Hellions #1 and House of M #1.
David saw himself and Noriko married in a possible future in a dream sequence Emma Frost gave him so that he would find out what would happen should his mental blocks be removed. But in that future, David had gotten too confident and even the president of the United States, but after growing more and more insane the New Mutants and Nori teamed up to defeat him. Noriko believed that the only way possible of doing this was that she had to blow both herself and David up. She succeeded, however the White House was also destroyed. Luckily, it was all a dream and never really happened, but David has been avoiding Noriko ever since, for fear of it becoming true. [New X-Men: Academy X #10-11]
This is the first time we actually see the Stepford Cuckoos in costume. This is also the first time that Callie from the Corsairs uses her codename. Her last name is still unknown, though.
Wolfsbane had a long time a secret relationship with Josh after he saved her life and gave her back her mutant powers. However, upon seeing Josh going out with Laurie, she ended the relationship, despite Josh’s wishes to the contrary. Wither, however, also had a crush on Laurie and took the advantage to expose the relationship Rahne and Josh once had to the entire school. Rather than to face her fate, Rahne ran away from school and joined Multiple Man’s new X-Factor Investigators detective agency, as she has worked with them before. [Madrox #1-5]
Northstar was killed by a mind-controlled Wolverine in Wolverine (3rd series) #25. Though he later was resurrected by Hydra, he too has been mind-controlled and currently still works for them. Not wanting to make the students aware of this, Shan took over Jean-Paul’s former Alpha Squadron squad, including Rahne’s Paragons squad after she left the school, and Shan also has to deal with teaching the younger students.
Before becoming a villain, the Blob tried to earn his living at the circus until the X-Men found him. They invited him to join their school, and Blob only agreed to join them because he had a crush on the lovely Jean. When she didn’t return his love, he attacked them and escaped, and later didn’t even return to the circus because they laughed at him. Blob didn’t even join the Brotherhood until Mystique came along, and convinced him to join her new and improved team, and since then he has been a lifelong member. Recently, however, Exodus took over leadership and renewed the Brotherhood, but indeed didn’t invite Blob. This Brotherhood was eventually defeated by the X-Men. Last issue, Blob showed that his feelings had been hurt by not being invited and, after consulting Dr. Garrison, he told the Blob to take his revenge, which he has now tried to do.
Havok’s X-Men team is currently away dealing with the menace of Golgotha in X-Men (2nd series) #166-170, and Cyclops’ team has been called away for a meeting with the Avengers last issue, the events of which can be found in House of M #1.
This Issue has been reprinted in:
New X-Men - Academy X Vol. 3: X-Posed (Trade Paperback)
Issue Summary written by: Homer Jay