Age of X-Man: Nextgen #1

Issue Date: 
April 2019
Story Title: 

Ed Brisson (writer), Marcus To (artist) Jason Keith (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Clayton Cowles (letterer), Chris Bachalo (cover artist), Lee Garbett; Inhyuk Lee; Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz & Nolan Woodard (variant cover artists), Danny Khazem (assistant editor), Darren Shan (editor), Jordan D White (X-Men senior editor), C B Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
Recap art by Rahzzah

Brief Description: 

Glob Herman is in the agricultural department of the Summers Institute, tending to three chickens named after dead X-Men, before he is bullied by Manon and Maxime. Armor arrives and orders the younger mutants to run along, before she and Glob join their friends Pixie, Rockslide, Shark Girl and Anole meet for breakfast, where Shark Girl reveals to the others that Glob had been working on fan fiction, that it was like the Resolution, the X-Men's last battle, and they are all in it, in small roles. The others are intrigued by this, and Pixie steals the book from Glob, wanting to read it. Armor takes it from her, and gives it back to Glob, while Rockslide reminds everyone that they need to meet to study tonight, however Anole tells the others that he can't make it. Shortly, Rockslide is in his history class, with Madison Jeffries as the instructor, where he is about to learn more about the Resolution. Anole practices surgery on a body in the medical theater, overseen by Dr Cecilia Reyes, while Glob and Shark Girl attend the agriculture class, where Husk teaches them how important it is that their community depends on their produce. Armor and Pixie attend civil management class, where Psylocke of the X-Tremists is a guest lecturer, informing the younger mutants how impotant it is to maintain order for the community. Later, at the Hope Summers Memorial Library, Pixie, Anole, Glob, Shark Girl and Rockslide meet, but their plans to study are interrupted when a fire is seen down the street. Pixie and Armor rush to go and maintain order. They find a house ablaze, and when they hear cries for help, go down the back of the house to find Blob of Department X arresting Bling. Blob orders them to go maintain order around the front, after warning Bling that she is going to be mindwiped again. Pixie goes around the front, while Armor holds back, and discovers Anole emerging from the shadows. Anole slips away, but not without asking Armor to listen to Bling – they are being lied to. Glob, Shark Girl and Rockslide arrive to watch the fire, before the X-Men appear to put the fire out, and Glob somehow vanishes. Later, Armor arrives at Glob's dorm room, where she reveals to him what she saw tonight. Glob appears to have some knowledge about what is going on and lunges at Armor, announcing he can show her the truth.

Full Summary: 

Dawn at the Summers Institute, where in the agricultural department, some chicken feed is thrown into the chicken run, where three chickens begin pecking away at the food, before looking up at the strange mutant called Glob, whose real name is Robert Herman, sitting on a bench nearby. He tells the chickens to hold on, and that there is plenty of food to go around. 'Oh. How sad!' a voice mocks. 'Don't you have any real friends?' the pale young mutant called Manon asks as she and her twin brother Maxime stand behind Glob, who looks over at Manon and tells her to leave him alone. 'What are their names? Les poulets... the chickens' Maxime asks. Glob informs him that the brown one is Logan, the white one is Hope and the barred one is Scott. 'Are you serious? You named them after dead X-Men?' Manon asks as she sits next to Glob. 'And those are hens, you fils de taupe. Why would you give two of them boy names?' Maxime asks, to which Glob tells him that it is none of his business. 'Do you call them the X-Hens?' Maxime jokes, before Glob asks them if they aren't supposed to be, like, anywhere else.

'Maybe... but I find you interesting. In, like, a weird way' Manon replies as she touches Glob's face, remarking that she can see his skull, but she can't see into his mind. 'I can see into everyone's mind' she mutters, wondering why she can't see into his.

'I -' Glob begins, before a voice shouts 'Manon!' Manon and Maxime look up to see Hisako Ichiki a.k.a. Armo, who wears a blue and black costume like they do, standing nearby. Armor tells the young mutants that they have better things to be doing with their time, and they need to run along before she reports the two of them to the dean, Angel. 'This sucks' Manon mutters in her native French. 'She's such a buzzkill' Maxime adds, also speaking in French.

Glob thanks Armor, who tells him that it is no problem, and adds that those kids are always acting like such pests, suggesting that they are going to have a lot of problems if they don't straighten themselves out by fifth year. Armor then tells Glob that they should hurry or they will be late for breakfast. 'Right!' Glob agrees, before telling Armor that he will just get Scott, Logan and Hope back into their coop. He starts ushering the chickens into the coop, but the one called Logan starts pecking Glob's hand. 'No! Stop pecking my hand and get into your coop!' Glob mutters, closing the hatch when all three chickens are inside.

Soon, inside the cafeteria, Santo Vacarro a.k.a. Rockslide, Megan Gywnn a.k.a. Pixie, Victor Borkowski and Iara dos Santos a.k.a. Shark Girl are seated at a table. Armor and Glob join them, as Gentle walks past their table, and Blinb can be seen among other students sitting at a table nearby. A news reporter appears on the televisions that are placed around the canteen, stating that there has been another fire in the downtown and that Department X has determined the cause to be accidental, and a full rebuild is already underway. Pixie, who wears a blue uniform like Armor, tells her friends that they are late. Armor apologizes and informs her that Glob was feeding his chickens. 'He loves those chickens' Iara, who wears a green costume, remarks. Anole, wearing a red costume, complains that those chickens are so gross. Glob sits next to Iara who notices a book under his arm and asks him if he was working on his fan fiction. 'What? Shark Girl...I don't want people to read -' Glob begins to reply. 'Fan fiction?' Anole asks. 'Yeah. It's like... the Resolution. The X-Men's last battle. But not really' Shark Girl explains, adding that they are all there, all of them, they are X-Men in his story.

'Oh yeah? So we're all big heroes? Are we famous?' Anole asks. Shark Girl explains that the way Glob wrote it, they weren't really important X-Men, and he got hurt in battle and was just in a hospital bed for most of the story she read. 'Are you kidding me? Why don't I get to be a hero?' Anole asks, which causes Pixie to laugh. 'Hey, at least you were in the story. I was barely in it' Shark Girl reveals, which causes Pixie to laugh again. 'What about me?' Rockslide, who wears a brown and black costume, asks. Shark Girl smiles as she tells him that he got beat up by someone named Forearm. 'He's a dude with four arms' she explains. 'Sounds too corny. I gotta read this!' Pixie declares as she snatches the book from Glob. 'Hey, no! Pixie, don't! Give it back!' Glob protests, adding that Iara shouldn't have told them, that this was private. The cover of the book reads “Property of Glob Herman. Do not read”. Suddenly, 'Enough...leave poor Glob alone' Armor mutters as she snatches the book from Pixie and hands it back to Glob, who thanks her. Armor frowns at Pixie, and Rockslide points out that they have to get to class, before asking them if they are all down for tonight's study session. 'I... uh...' Anole begins, as he and Bling pass each other. Bling stares back at him, before Anole reports that he can't make it tonight, but that they should go on without him. 'Your loss' Rockslide replies. Pixie tells the others that she will see them at six. 'Later' Armor mutters.

The bell rings as students take their seats in a lecture theater, this is the tenth year class who are in the history department. Madison Jeffries is the instructor and he stands at the front of the room. Photographs line the wall behind him – Rogue, Gambit, Cyclops, Professor X, Hope, Wolverine and Cable. 'Come now, my little chickadees. Let us begin today's lesson' Jeffries calls out. He begins writing on the blackboard and informs them that today they are going to be talking about an incident that he is sure all of them are already well aware of – Hope Summers and the sacrifice she made so that they could all live – how she died so that they could all have powers and live on in peace. Jeffries tells the class that although this is well-trod territory, he thinks it is important that they periodically look back at their history, that they examine their roots. He has written “The Resolution” on the blackboard tells the class, of which Rockslide is among them, that to understand who they are now, 'It is imperative that we look at early...'

'... signs and symptoms' Dr Ceceilia Reyes remarks in the medical theater where the tenth year class are seated in a circular fashion around an operating table, which Dr Reyes stands over with Anole. Dr Reyes tells the class that by listening to their patients and carefully monitoring them from their hatch day, looking for anomalies and irregularities, using the skills that they have been taught in their training as nurses, doctors and surgeons, they can detect problems early. Anole makes an incision into the body lying on the table, and pulls a small object from the body as Dr Reyes remarks 'Once detected, we're able to remove the ailment... striking it before it can...'

'... take hold and spread its rot to the rest of the plants' Paige Guthrie a.k.a. Husk tells her students outside in the agricultural division. This is the tenth year class, of which, Glob, Shark Girl, Gentle and Match are students. Paige tells her students that their community depends on their produce and livestock, so it falls to them to nurture it. Her class are attentive as Paige continues, 'To weed out these problems...'

'... before they come a larger issue' Shiro Yoshida a.k.a. Sunfire tells his tenth year civil management class. Pixie and Armor are both in this class, and look at the front of the room as Sunfire tells them that is why he knows many of them are excited to finally have the opportunity to embark on their mentorship with Department H officers. 'You have worked hard. You have earned it' he adds, before announcing that here to tell them what to expect in the next step of their journey is Department X clerk, Psylocke. Betsy Braddock smiles at the class as she enters the room, which is met by the entire class snapping their fingers in adoration. Betsy thanks the students and tells them that they are far too kind – and nervous, she is sure. Pixie and Armor smile as Psylocke assures them that they have no reason to be.

Psylocke reminds the students that as they have all learned by now, Department X is focused on maintaining community relations and standards, that their motto is “A clean neighborhood is a safe neighborhood”. She adds that it might not seem terribly exciting, but that cleanliness leads to order, that it is an important part of what they do. She informs the students that they will be paired with officers to carry out what they call “block watches”, that they will be out in force to keep their neighborhood clean and to lend a hand when needed – which could be anything from helping some of their older citizens with their groceries, to fixing fences. She tells the students that in those very rare instances where they might find themselves facing a far more serious obstacle, such as a violent act, then they are to stand back and maintain the scene while Department X handles the situation. Psylocke concludes by telling the students that looking out at them she can see herself as a student once again, she sees those who will keep them from falling back into the chaos that was once all too common. 'I see the future of our world'.

Later: 'Sorry we're late' Pixie remarks as she and Armor arrive at the Hope Summers Memorial Library in Westchester, New York. 'Someone was drooling all over the Department X speaker at our school' Pixie smiles. 'What? No. I just had some questions, that's all' Armor exclaims. 'An hour’s worth of questions. I thought she was going to talk Clerk Braddock's ears clear off her head' Pixie jokes. 'That's so cool' Shark Girl remarks, adding that she wishes she got to be in civil management rather than boring old agriculture. Pixie looks at Shark Girl and asks her if she is insinuating that Angel was wrong in placing her into the agricultural stream? 'What? No. No no no. I just think it's cool, that's all' Shark Girl replies. Glob tells them that they should really get studying, because if he fails another test, they will probably make him a janitor or lunch monitor. The students enter the library and Shark Girl tells Glob that she doesn't know how he can spend ten years in a classroom and not remember anything. 'I -' Glob starts to reply, hanging his head, before Rockslide suddenly alerts them to a fire down the road.

'We have to go help!' Pixie calls out. 'But -' Glob begins to protest. 'Not you three. Us' Armor declares as she and Pixie rush off down the street. 'This is what we've been waiting for' Armor remarks, adding that everyone else needs to keep back where it is safe. Glob tells Shark Girl and Rockslide that it is just the three of them studying then. 'Are you crazy? I wanna see the fire!' Shark Girl exclaims as she throws her books into the air and starts to head down the street with Rockslide. Glob just hangs his head.

Pixie and Armor arrive at the house fire, and Armor tells some civilians that they are civil management students and that they are here to help. She instructs them to move to the other side of the street where it is safe. From around the back of the house, a voice shouts' Help! Someone... anyone!' Armor and Pixie hear the cries and race to the back of the house, 'We're coming!' 'Please help me!' someone on the ground exclaims, 'Is that Bling?' Pixie gasps as they see the young mutant held to the ground by the Blob, one of the Department X clerks. 'Your fascist organization can't suppress the truth, Blob!' Bling exclaims. Blob just tells her to be quiet. 'We're going to wake the people up! We'll open their eyes to the lies!' Bling shouts. Blob remarks that he hates seeing a good kid like Bling flushing her life away like this. He points out that this is the second time she has made them mindwipe her. 'You know what happens if you get a third?' he asks.

Armor and Pixie appear confused, 'We're... ah... we're civil management students. We're here to help' Armor eventually informs the Blob, who sighs and tells them that they can't be back here. He instructs them to go back up front and make sure that they keep the crowds away – and to make sure no one else comes back here. Pixie heads back to the front of the house, but Armor tells her that they can't just leave. 'What he's doing isn't right. We need to -' Armor begins, but Pixie reminds Armor that they are not real Department X – not just yet – Blob is, so they have to do what he says. 'I'll meet you up front' she calls back. Suddenly, there is a rustle, and Armor turns around as Anole falls from the shadows, 'Anole?' Armor calls out, surprised. ' never saw me. You can't let them get me. Not again' the terrified Anole utters as he moves towards a large bush, informing Armor that she needs to listen to Bling, that this is all a lie – 'We're being lied to' he utters, before vanishing in the bushes.

Out the front of the blazing house, Glob has joined Shark Girl, Rockslide and several civilians. Glob holds a hand out as embers fall around him – one of them lands on his skin and burns him. He watches, wide-eyed. 'Oh wow! Look! It's -' Shark Girl begins, pointing up to the sky, '- the X-Men!' she concludes as Jean Grey, Magneto, Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus, X-23 and Nature Girl arrive. Storm instructs everyone to move back from the fire, while Jean assures everyone that they have the situation under control. Armor asists, by telling people to move back. 'Let's give the X-Men the room they need to do their work' Pixie calls out. Shark Girl tells Rockslide that this is so cool and asks him if he thinks she can get Nightcrawler's autograph. Rockslide replies that he has never seen them this close before. 'Isn't this amazing, Glob?' Shark Girl asks, but gets no response. She and Rockslide look around as rain begins to fall over them and the burning house, but Glob has vanished. 'Where'd he go?' Shark Girl wonders.

Later, there is a knock on the door to Glob's dorm, and Armor bursts in. 'Hisako?' Glob asks, surprised. 'We need to talk' Armor announces. 'Uh...' Glob begins. Armor tells him to close the door, but Glob tells her that they can't. 'If people found us in here together, they'd -' he begins. Armor is clearly conflicted, and tells Glob that she knows, but she needs someone to talk to. 'Something's...I saw something and I need to talk to someone about it. Please' Hisako utters. She sits on a chair opposite Glob, who sits on his bed, as Armor informs him that when they were earlier at the fire, she saw Department X, and they were arresting students – Bling was there, and she overheard clerk Blob say that he was going to mindwipe her, and the way Blob pushed them out of there, like he didn't want them to see what was happening. 'The threats he made...and Anole was there. He was... he was running from them. He looked so scared' Armor reveals, hanging her head.

Armor tells Glob that she was supposed to, and thinks she should, tell Department X, told an officer that Anole was running from the burning house, but he looked so scared that she couldn't. 'Not again' Glob utters as he places his hand over a candle flame. 'I don't know what's happening and I'm -' Armor begins. 'I...I have to stop it' Glob remarks. 'Glob? What do you mean “Not again”? That's what Anole said. What do you know?' Armor asks. 'No more lies. You deserve to know' Glob remarks. 'What are you -?' Armor begins, as Glob's hand is engulfed by the flame, he tells Hisako that he is sorry, that this is the only way. He lunges at her, flaming hand ready to grab her as he tells her that this is the only way he can show her the truth!

Characters Involved: 

Anole, Armor, Bling, Gentle, Glob Herman, Manon, Match, Maxime, Pixie III, Rockslide, Shark Girl and other students
Husk, Madison Jeffries, Dr. Cecilia Reyes, Sunfire (all Summers Institute)

Blob, Psylocke (both Department X)

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

Hope, Logan and Scott the chickens

in photographs:
Cable, Cyclops, Gambit, Hope, Rogue, Wolverine, Professor X

Story Notes: 

This issue follows Age of X-Man: Alpha #1.

Maxime and Manon first appeared in Extermination #1.

Fils de taupe: French for “son of a mole.”

Shark Girl refers to Anole being hurt and in a hospital bed for most of Glob's “Resolution” fan fiction – which parallels what happened to Anole in Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #1-10. Similarly, Shark Girl did barely feature in that story, and Rockslide was beaten up by Forearm.

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