Age of X-Man Alpha #1

Issue Date: 
March 2019
Story Title: 
Welcome to a Perfect World

Zac Thompson & Lonnie Nadler (writers), Ramon Rosanas (artist) Triona Farrell (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Clayton Cowles (letterer), Phil Noto (cover artist), Rahzzah; Whilce Portacio & Jesus Aburtov; George Perez & Chris Sotomayor (variant cover artists), Annalise Bissa (assistant editor), Jordan D White (editor), C B Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

In a world where mutants are not hated and feared, the X-Men – Jean Grey, Magneto, Storm, Nightcrawler, Bishop, Nature Girl, Colossus and X-Man – attend to an emergency distress call where a young mutant at the hatchery's powers are out of control. X-Man finds the young mutant, Luna and is able to calm her, while the X-Men deal with the effects of Luna's power surge. Despite her young age, Luna is taken by the X-Men to the Summers Institute, where X-Man introduces her to Angel. Angel takes Luna on a tour of the Summers Institute, taking her through the various departments where students are given skills and knowledge to help benefit themselves and the world as a whole. Afterwards, the X-Men debrief back at the X-Sanctuary, and briefly discuss the day where everyone became a mutant, before they go their separate ways for the evening – not without X-Man noticing Jean Grey and Bishop touch hands as they leave for their own homes. Everyone spends the evening on their own, save for Bishop and Jean who watch a movie together – then start to kiss. They later sit up in bed, and Bishop tells Jean that they can't do this, that it is a mistake, he then leaves her. Nightcrawler spends time on the film studio where he and Meggan are filming another movie. When they stop for a break, the Stepford Cuckoos update Nightcrawler on various pressing celebrity matters. Bishop is in his apartment as he thinks about events that have led to this day, before Psylocke, Iceman and Moneta of the X-Tremists burst into his apartment and give chase, trapping him, Moneta uses her strange abilities to enter Bishop's mind, and excommunicates him. The next morning. Jean Grey and Storm meet on the way to the X-Sanctuary, Jean doesn't really remember much about last night, which Storm finds strange as Jean remembers everything. They join X-Man, Magneto, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Nature Girl in the conference center, when Jean notices an empty chair – which is soon taken by X-23 who arrives late. The X-Men have a new issue on their hands, as X-Man found a flyer advertising Apocalypse and the X-Tremists, who are promoting love....

Full Summary: 

This is the age of perfection. For the first time ever, the world is marvelous – and everybody knows it. Mutantkind is no longer an endangered species, and people believe this is Xavier's dream realized. 'But the reality is, it's mine. It's all of ours'. Nate Grey a.k.a. X-Man thinks to himself, while a busy gas station is manned by several mutants, and children watch as a firefighter demonstrastes his power to create water, and in a diner, a waitress uses telekinesis to carry patrons' food to their table. Mutants with unusual appearances move about with others and no one has an issue. Another mutant hovers in the air while walking their dog ona leash. Nate recalls that Xavier told him a lot about dreams – that he said “The thing about dreams is that most people think you can't control them. But you can. Dreams are built first and then shared. Dreams are a matter of will. Of action”. A hot dog vendor goes about his business, while an elderly woman creates small hurricanes that blow leaves away from her porch. At the Museum of Mutant History, a maintenance man is clearing leaves out the front of the building, while someone inside screams. Nate knows that, in that much, Xavier was right – dreams are desires so strong they can bend the world. 'So why is this only happening now?' Nate wonders. 'Because mutants were so used to being denied everything that they didn't think they deserved to realize their dreams'.

A jet descends over the city, inside it, Jean Grey remarks that she hasn't felt this much pain in a very long time. 'We're right above it' she reports, while Bishop tells the others that they should hope he remembers how to land this thing. 'I've never seen anything like zis...' Kurt Wagner a.k.a. Nightcrawler utters with his thick accent as he follows the others out of the jet. Looking around, Bishop asks 'Why aren't we stuck like the rest of 'em?' before Nate Grey explains that hr has a psychic shield up around them. 'How can we help them?' Piotr Rasputin a.k.a. Colossus asks as he strokes the head of a frozen dog, while Magneto looks at the man walking the dog and decides that this does not look like pain. 'They're not in pain...someone else is' Jean Grey explains. 'Someone with a lot on their mind' Nate adds. Li Lin a.k.a. Nature Girl crouches on the grass and puts a hand above the blades, she points out that even the grass is frozen, that it has stopped talking – and grass never stops talking. 'The air is too still' Ororo Munroe points out. 'Everything is too still' Bishop declares, looking at the staff at the gas station.

Magneto begins to ask Jean and Nate what their psychic reading is picking up, but he is interrupted by a rumbling. 'Whoever it is. They're hurting and they don't understand what's happening to them' Jean calls out. Nightcrawler asks where this is coming from to which Nate reports that he doesn't know, but he can find them, only he needs time. Colossus tells Nate to go, that they will keep this under control. Nate rushes off, while telepathically telling Jean that he needs her help, as he is being shut out. 'She's not trying to. It's not her fault. She's having a seizure' Jean informs Nate, who remarks that this is going to get worse. Jean adds that she can feel her, but she is having trouble pinpointing her exact location. Colossus lifts up a runaway ice cream truck, while Storm levitates some rubble with a gust of wind as Nate discovers that she iis in the northwest corner, but he can't tell which building. Bishop absorbs the energy from an electricity pole that falls towards him, while Jean tells Nate that it is a mess out here, and the girl they are looking for might be in the diner. 'No, it's the museum. It's radiating psychic energy' Nate responds, as Nightcrawler climbs onto a billboard advertising a film that he is starring in “Planet of the Sapiens” while Nature Girl uses her powers to calm a tree. 'She's inside the children's memorial' Jean Grey reports as Nate runs towards the Museum of Mutant History. 'I'm on it' he reports, while telling Jean that her empathy never fails.


X-Man arrives in the children's memorial, and finds a young girl on the floor, hands covering her head. X-Man calls out to her telepathically, tells her to focus on his thoughts, to open her eyes and her mind, and that they will get through this. The little girl looks up at X-Man and tells him that there are colors all over her brain. 'Like a kalibo...scope. I don't know where my mind stops and the world begins'. Nate assures her that it is okay, that it's not her fault and that she is having a seizure. Luna asks him how it stops, and he tells her to let him in. She starts to calm down, and tells Nate that she doesn't know what is happening. Nate explains to the girl that she is still getting used to her wonderful powers, and that with her strength, she could be part of their team one day. 'Me?' Luna asks. 'Yes, you' Nate tells her. Luna gets to her feet and asks X-Man how she can, as she made a mistake – a big one. Nate reveals that all mutants make mistakes, even him, even the other X-Men. 'You're just one powerful individual among many. That's all. Over time you'll realize, you stand apart from the world and your own emotions'. He adds that what she does with her gift is up to her, and to remember, the whole world is her tribe.

X-Man leads Luna out of the Museum of Mutant History and remarks that being a good shaman means always thinking for yourself, because thinking for yourself means acting for the world. 'It's not as bad as I thought' Luna replies as she looks around at the world outside the Museum. 'It never is' X-Man tells her. 'This is the little one who caused all this trouble? She's okay now?' Magneto asks as X-Man and Luna walk past him. 'Sure is' X-Man calls back. Nearby, some civilians are swooning over Colossus. 'That car nearly crushed us!' a woman exclaims. 'Thanks, Colossus!' a man declares. Colossus poses with them for a photo and tells them that he did only what was expected of him. 'This is one for the ages!' a green-skinned mutant with the camera declares. Nightcrawler and Jean Grey walk alongside X-Man, and Nightcrawler asks him what he is going to do with the girl. 'She can't go back to Cerebro' Jean points out. 'Then we'll give her a new home'  Nate suggests.

Soon, the X-Men's jet descends over the Summers Institute. 'The nurses said I couldn't come here until my ninth hatchday' Luna remarks, to which X-Man tells her that there will always be exceptions for the exceptional. Nate walks Luna towards the Summers Institute, where they see Warren Worthington III a.k.a. Angel, who tells Nate that he keeps seeing his face on the tube, adding that it has been too long since they have shared the same air. 'You never shoulda left the team' Nate replies. Angel points out that someone needs to cultivate the minds of tomorrow, and Nate remarks that there are a lot more of them now. 'Gone are the days when there were only five of us' Angel agrees. 'Sure are' Nate replies, and tells Angel that, lucky for him, he has one more to add to the tanks. Angel looks at Luna and points out that she must be an early enrollment. 'The nurses said it was big, but I didn't think it was this big!' Luna gasps as she looks around her new surroundings. Angel introduces himself to the young girl and asks her what her name is. Luna smiles back at him, and Angel asks her if she was named after the moon, telling her that here at the Summers Institute, they can help her reach the moon, if that is the kind of mutant she wants to be. Luna just looks back at him, before Angel tells her that if she thinks the outside is impressive, then he can show her the wonders inside. Luna looks at Nate asks if he can come too. 'If it pleases him' Angel tells her.

Passing through a foyer, where a large statue of Cyclops is on display, Angel tells Luna that he knows the nurses told her about what they do here when she came out of the hatchery, but that seeing it is a different story. He adds that what started out as a humble private school has evolved into a collective community of individual learning and progressive thinking. They pass a library, where Rockslide and other mutants can be seen looking through books, as Angel tells Luna that in the history department she will learn about everything from the first mutants to Xavier's dream all the way up to when Hope and her X-Men sacrificed themselves and “The Resolution” beyond that. They enter the medical department, and pass a lab where Anole and a blonde student are experimenting with chemicals. Angel tells Luna that the medical department is dedicated to using mutant powers to benefit society, that they research ways to improve mental health, medical science, progressive natal solutions and the benefits of secondary mutants. 'What's a natal sol-tution?' Luna asks. 'Solution, it's how you were born' Angel smiles.

They pass a room where Shiro Yoshida a.k.a. Sunfire is teaching a class, 'This is, uh... our civil management department. Here we teach eager students how to keep and, well, manage the peace' Angel explains, adding that things are a little slow. '...that's why we always come back to identity, autonomy and harmony' Sunfire remarks at the front of the class. They go outside, to where Robert “Glob” Herman can be seen inside a chicken coop, checking off a list, as Angel tells Luna that this is the thriving agricultural department, modeled after the old Kibbutzim in Israel, now their farms account for seven percent of the world's total agricultural output, and their sister schools contribute another 30 percent. 'If you couldn't tell, this is our biggest department. Most students want to be part of our little revolution' Angel tells Luna, kneeling down in front of her, he asks her how this all sounds to her. 'Good. Will this be my new home?' Luna smiles, looking up at X-Man. 'For the next ten years' Angel tellls her. 'Wow. Just like the nurses said! This is the coolest!' Luna exclaims. Glob looks over to Angel, X-Man and Luna and watches them intently, as Angel informs Luna that this school is dedicated to finding her place in the world, and tells her that eventually she will come into her own, that she will flourish, and might even get to fly to that moon. He gaurantees to Luna that these will be the best years of her life – and that she will remember everything.

The X-Sanctuary, the X-Men are gathered in a kitchen, where a team photo looks down on them. Bishop remarks that he hasn't had that much energy surging through him in a long time, and that his muscles feel like they are on fire. 'Stop being such a slabovol'nyy chelovek' Colossus replies. 'A what?' Bishop asks. 'A weak man' Colossus explains. Bishop points out that they are not all made of steel, and announces that he needs to get home, fix himself a bourbon and sit in silence to give his body some R&R. Jean tells Bishop that he is free to go, before Nature Girl smiles and asks the others what it was like on that day everyone became a mutant. 'Was it as crazy as today?' she asks. Magneto tells Nature Girl that she can't even imagine, and that they found an entire city under the Atlantic Ocean. 'That many people drowning... Nature Girl utters, as Magneto explains that they were transported there by an 8-year-old boy who had lost his mother. Colossus informs her that he was called home, that there were riots in St Petersburg, and people thought it was a chemical weapon, thought that Americans were attacking. 'Germany was no different' Nightcrawler adds. 'No. You don't understand. I saw an infant with the power of a black hole in the palm of his hands' Colossus reveals. 'The sounds of stretching bones will -' Colossus begins, before Storm interrupts him, declaring that Nature Girl does not need the details, and that there is no sense in harping on about the past.

Nate remarks that what he thinks Colossus is trying to say is that the world changed quickly, but that they are here now, and that is all that matters. Bishop tells the others that he has lived in enough broken timelines that he never thought they would get here, before excusing himself, he announces that he is going to go enjoy this world. 'Hope knows I earned that drink' he adds as he walks past Jean Grey. Nightcrawler yawns and stretches as he reports that he needs to get going as the Cuckoos are calling. Jean Grey and Bishop's fingers briefly touch as Bishop passes her – and this does not go unseen by X-Man. The entire team starts to leave the kitchen, 'You're all going?' X-Man asks them. 'I guess that leaves me to clean up your mess again' he mutters, looking at the plates and glasses left on the table.

Soon, Storm sits in a rocking chair in her living room, knitting, while Nate meditates upside down in his room. 'Do you need more water, my friends?' Nature Girl asks a small shrub as she sits outside. Colossus gazes out his window as he gets into bed, while Magneto sits at his bar, a drink in one hand, he levitates two metal balls. Nightcrawler practices his lines as he stands in his living room: “ hear this, Scarside. Your life's about to change. I doubt very much that Department X would take kindly to what you're doing...”. Another room is empty – as Jean Grey and bishop sit on a sofa, watching a movie, a bowl of popcorn resting on the sofa between them. 'Jean?' Bishop asks, turning to Jean, who asks him what is on his mind. 'I think you know' Bishop replies. Jean leans into Bishop, 'I need to tell you something' she utters, before she places her lips on his. Bishop appears slightly surprised, before he kisses back, and the bowl of popcorn falls to the floor with a thud.

Shortly, 'So. Is this what you meant when you said you wanted some “R&R”?' Jean asks. Bishop sits up in bed and tells Jean that something is not right. 'I really need to -' he begins as Jean sits up and tells him that they don't have to stop, that the others won't find out. 'I can't help but feel like this was a mistake' Bishop utters. 'I mistake...I've made before' he adds as he gets out of bed and start to get dressed. Jean tells Bishop that she can sense his worry, but assures him that this is natural. 'No... no. Haven't we evolved beyond this? Beyond romance? Beyond coupling? We can't go backwards. We know that individuals -' Bishop begins, before Jean interrupts him, declaring that they stronger together, and she knows he feels that too. Bishop tells Jean that he doesn't know what he feels, but that all he knows is that he has done this before. 'Obviously' Jean jokes. 'I don't mean it like that. I...need to be alone. Clear my head' Bishop remarks as he leaves the room. 'Lucas...' Jean calls out, but Bishop just bids Jean good night.

'Zis world isn't yours to destroy. I'm not going to tell you again. Let. Her. Go' Nightcrawler, wearing a spacesuit, warns a purple-skinned opponent on a moon-surface type studio set, while the wide-eyed Meggan finds herself held captive by the purple-skinned Scarside. 'The world you know has already ended. It ruined itself' Scarside declares, before asking Nightcrawler why he is still fighting for it. Scarside fires his weapon, but Nightcrawler teleports away, and then re-appears next to Scarside, where he grabs his arm, causing Scarside to fire upwards. Meggan frees herself from Scarside's grasp and slams her hand into Scarside's neck. Nightcrawler and Meggan both move away from Scarside, as tentacles extend from his arms. 'When will you see beyond the illusion?' Scarside asks. Meggan tells him that he is lost in a fantasy, before Scarside lashes out at Nightcrawler, knocking himm backwards. Nightcrawler responds by kicking Scarside in the face, 'Now hear this, Scarside. Your life's about to change. I doubt very much that Division X is going to -' he begins, before someone shouts 'CUT!'

'Verdammt! Department. Department X, not Division X' Kurt mutters, apologizing to everyone, he tells them it has been a long day. As Meggan helps Scarside to his feet, the actor remarks that he hated everything about his performance, so he is glad they get another role. A green-skinned mutant tuns to the film crew and tells them to reset, and that they need fifteen minutes to reset the camera. Two of the blonde Stepford Cuckoos approach Kurt, one of them announces that she has hundreds of headshots that need signing. 'MUTV is asking for an exclusive on-camera interview tomorrow night' the other Cuckoo reports, informing Nightcrawler that if they take that, they will need to push his bookstore appearance. Kurt turns to someone and asks if they need to run through the scene again, but he's told that they are good and he can do his thing.

Nightcrawler exits the studio with the two Cuckoos, one of them asks him if he can make it work, as MUTV needed an answer ten minutes ago. Kurt tells her to make sure it is not like the last time he was on MUTV – he only wants to talk about the movie, nothing X-Men related and nothing about his personal life – nothing about Mastermind, either. The other Cuckoo tells him that they are pushing his appearance to next week, and tells him not to forget it, before handing him some photos and a pen and telling him that the kids at Cerebro East are waiting for these. 'They can't get enough of you out there' she adds, as Kurt begins to sign the photos.

As he checks some weapons, Bishop thinks to himself that there isn't much to worry about these days, as Stryfe is dead, Magneto is one of  them and all the other villains are gone – there is only peace – but his mind can't handle being still – it never could. He locks the weapons away, then pulls the jackets hanging in his closet in front of the weapons compartment. His mind has always been on the verge of defense, there is always energy running through him, it creates a kind of anxiety that won't go away – just part of him that can't be shut off. But for everyone else, everything is still, and that stilness allows them to think about that future. That is why they have all these new holidays that look ahead, not to the past – even Xavier Day – it's not about honoring the man that once was, instead, they write their hopes and dreams onto sheets of paper and send them up into the atmosphere. He pours himself a drink in his kitchen, remembering how the hopes and dreams are set on fire in a big display of wishful thinking, it is a beautiful gesture meant to stoke the flames of the future – as history makes people uncomfortable, so nobody does it anymore – nobody but him.

Suddenly, the door bursts open, 'Lucas Bishop, you've engaged in a forbidden relationship!' Betsy Braddock a.k.a. Psylocke declares, leaping towards Bishop with her psi-knife ready. 'This is your third breach of the guiding principles' Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman points out, a frozen ball of ice ready to throw at Bishop, while a woman with brown hair tells Bishop to put his hands where they can see them. Bishop leaps backwards over his sofa and remarks that he thought someone would come – he just didn't think it would be Bobby. 'Don't do it, man. You're caught. Give up' Bobby responds as he increases the size of his ball of ice. Bishop ducks down a hallway as the ball of ice slams into the sofa. Betsy appears in front of Bishop and slams her fist into his face. Bishop retaliates by firing a blast of energy at her, knocking Betsy to the floor. He then rushes into his bedroom, 'Where you trying to go?' Bobby calls out as he pursues Bishop, catching up to him, he knocks Bishop over and reminds him that he told him not to run.

Bishop reaches for his closet, but Bobby leans over him and starts punching him with large blocks of ice. He tries to melt the ice with an energy beam, but Betsy grabs his head and shoves her psi-knife into him. The other woman approaches them, and small tentacles appear at the ends of her fingers, 'Let's see what's hiding in that dome. Memories never lie' she remarks as she leans over Bishop and places her mouth over his head. 'They confirm what we already know' Betsy remarks, calling the other woman Moneta. 'Can't believe I'm about to do this to one of the X-Men' Moneta utters. 'Get the #$%& away from me!' Bishop protests. 'They're in my head! AAAAHHH!' Bishop calls out as Moneta's tentacle fingers enter his brain through his mouth and nose. Memories of Bishop and Jean Grey on a beach appear. Followed by Bishop and Gambit arguing, and Cyclops standing between them, and finally, Bishop sitting on a sofa.

'I've seen more than enough. You're disgusting. A disgrace. Both of you' Bobby exclaims. 'It wasn't her! I was the one who wanted this. I'm begging -' Bishop begins, Betsy's psi-blade at his neck. 'Not based on what I just saw' Moneta remarks, before asking Betsy what her read is. Betsy declares that Bishop is lying, just like the last time. 'What about Jean?' Bobby enquires. Betsy tells him that Jean is set for reconditioning, and they need to deal with Bishop first. 'Thanks to this little device, youy're about to lose everything that makes you, you' Betsy tells Bishop as she prepares to place a collar on him. Bishop's foot moves backwards towards the closet, but too late, 'Lucas've been excommunicated' Psylocke announces as the collar is placed on Bishop, who then vanishes in a haze.

The next day, a different set of clothes hangs in Bishop's closet. The hallway and living room are no longer disturbed as if there had been a fight.

Outside: 'Lost in reverie again, Jean?' Storm asks as she approaches Jean Grey who is looking at a statue of the First X-Men. Jean turns to Storm and tells her that she is thinking about how much Scott would have loved to have been here with them – and Logan, Xavier, all of them. 'They died so we could live' Storm reminds Jean, suggesting that they go on, as they will be late for the briefing, and they need to see what today's dawn brings. They walk side by side, and Jean notes that Storm is in high spirits, so asks her if she had a good night. Storm tells her that she did – that it was uneventful, solitary and beautiful. 'The most uneventful nights are often the best ones' Jean replies. Storm reveals that she got lost in her knitting, that she is making a new pashmina for Nature Girl. 'That one she's been wearing is...' Storm's voice trails off. 'It stinks. So bad. I lvoe her to pieces. But she's like a walking barn' Jean adds. 'I didn't have the heart to tell her' Storm adds.

They carry on towards the X-Sanctuary, as Storm asks Jean if she had a good evening. 'Yeah... I – hmm. I don't really remember' Jean responds. Storm turns to Jean and points out that she always remembers everything. 'I can't for the life of me...this doesn't...' Jean utters, before Storm asks her if she is all right. Jean tells Storm that she just feels off, that something is wrong. They enter the meeting room, where Magneto, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Nature Girl and X-Man are seated at the conference table. 'Are we missing someone?' Jean asks. The others look around the table to X-Man, who replies 'Of course we are. It's amazing she makes it to these morning briefings at all' 'Never was a morning person. Ya'll should be used to that by now' a young woman standing in a doorway while eating an apple remarks. Nature Girl looks at Magneto and tells him that she still doesn't understand why they have these meetings so early. 'I believe it was Shakespeare who said “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late”' Magneto responds, while Nightcrawler points out that it also allows him to make his call time.

The other young woman straddles a chair as she joins the others and tells Nightcrawler that she is okay with that because she loves Meggan – so if he keeps making movies with her, she will keep getting up early for him. 'What's on the docket for today?' Laura Kinney a.k.a. X-23 asks, while X-Man looks up at a team photograph – the same photograph that was in the kitchen – only with X-23 in Bishop's place. 'Now that we're all here... something a little strange was brought to my attention last night' X-Man reports, reaching into his pocket, he tells the other X-Men that he is not sure what to make of this yet, or if it is even worth their time, but he wanted them all to see it. He places a piece of paper on the table and reports that last night while Department X were dropping off cookies, they gave him this, they told him they found it near Union Square in New York.

'Whoever that is, they need a better headshot' Nightcrawler remarks. 'Those lips...' Nature Girl utters, while Magneto looks at the flyer and tells the others that this is no laughing matter – this is the language of a revolutionary. Jean suggests that they don't jump to conclusions, but agrees that this is a bit concerning. 'Are you serious? I don't see a problem with it...seems peaceful enough' X-23 tells the others as she looks at the flyer which depicts the head of Apocalypse and the words “It's okay to love. Come see what you've been missing”. And X-Man remembers that Xavier also told him that “dreams are no different than stories”. He thinks that this is a story, a dream, both familiar and unlike any other – one spun out of desperation and good intentions.

“You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make

the revolution. You can only be the revolution.

It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere”

- Ursula K Le Guin, 'The Dispossessed'

Characters Involved: 

Bishop, Colossus, Jean Grey, Magneto, Nature Girl, Nightcrawler, Storm, X-23, X-Man (all X-Men)


Angel, Sunfire (both Summers Institute)

Anole, Glob Herman, Rockslide and other students


Iceman, Moneta, Psylocke (all Department X)



Stepford Cuckoos

Scarside actor and other film cast and crew




in Bishop's memories:

Bishop, Cyclops, Gambit, Jean Grey

Story Notes: 

The Age of X-Man spins out of the climactic finale of Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #10.

First appearance of the character Moneta.

This oneshot is followed by the limited series The Marvelous X-Men, Nextgen, The Amazing Nightcrawler, X-Tremsits, Prisoner X and Apocalypse and the X-Tracts.

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