Age of X-Man: Nextgen #3

Issue Date: 
June 2019
Story Title: 

Ed Brisson (writer), Marcus To (artist) Jason Keith (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Clayton Cowles (letterer), Chris Bachalo (cover artist), Lauren Amaro (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: 

In the cafeteria, Rockslide, Armor, Anole, Glob, Pixie and Shark Girl are all preoccupied with their own issues. Pixie is worried Armor is taking Unveil, noticing how distant she is becoming, while Anole asks Rockslide if he has uncovered anything further about what happened to the Life Seed, he hasn't so Anole leaves. Armor and Glob leave to follow Anole, but Pixie is persistant and attempts to follow them until Armor assures her she will be at class. In the corridor, Armor and Glob confront Anole about what happened the other night, but Anole feigns ignorance. They are interrupted when Dean Angel approaches them and sends them on their way. Rockslide is summoned to Madison Jeffries' office, where he discusses the Life Seed with him. It is then that Skids arrives with several books that had been off-site getting re-bound. Jeffries takes one of the books and gives it to Rockslide, telling him the answers about the Life Seed are in it. He then suggests to Rockslide that he stop looking for things that aren't there. In civil management class, Sunfire teaches Pixie, Armor and their classmates about Unveil, and Pixie increasingly thinks that her friend might be taking the drug. Sunfire urges the students to report any strange signs that their peers may be on drugs. Anole approaches a community noticeboard and writes something all over it. Rockslide finds Glob feedings his chickens, and reveals to him what he has been up to, trying to find out about the Life Seed – and how Jeffries suddenly gave him a book that explained the Life Seed was destroyed – simple as that. Rockslide doesn't believe the book, however. Glob then confides in Rockslide about everything he had been piecing together – people going missing, memories lost, he even tells Rockslide in the true reality they come from they are both X-Men. Pixie follows Armor and confronts her, accusing her of being on Unveil. They argue for some time, before Armor chases off after Anole, and Maxime and Manon tell Pixie that Armor is going to do something bad and that they can't let her go. Armor eventually finds Anole and barges into his dorm, where Armor warns him that people like him who go against the normal will disappear, andshe doesn't want that to happen to him. She puts a hand on him, when Pixie barges into the dorm and accuses them of being retrogrades. She attempts to arrest Anole, before Armor knocks her out. Anole gives Armor a note and tells her the people he has written down can help her, and to tell them he sent her. He then crawls out of the dorm, while Dean Angel passes a noticeboard, to find “YOU ARE BEING LIED TO” written all over it.

Full Summary: 

The Summers Institute for Higher Learning, inside the cafeteria, where six young mutants sit around a table, eating their food, reading and talking, while Iara Dos Santos a.k.a. Shark Girl looks up at the television above them, which is about to start playing the trailer for the new Nightcrawler film. Megan Gwynn a.k.a. Pixie sits next to Hisako Ichiki a.k.a. Armor and tells her that she doesn't know what has gotten into her. 'Guys! Guys!' Iara exclaims. 'First the hair, and now you're skipping classes...' Megan points out while Hisako plays with the food on the tray in front of her. 'It's the new Kurt Wagner movie!' Iara calls out, while Megan warns Hisako that My Yoshida is going to fail her if she keeps this up. “Mission Mutation III: Firebird” the television can be heard quietly saying, as the trailer for the movie begins. 'You think they'll turn up the TV?' Iara asks. Glob Herman stares down at his food, while Santo Vaccarro a.k.a. Rockslide is engrossed in a book. Victor Borkowski a.k.a. Anole kneels on his chair, and quietly calls out to Santo, asking him if there is anything about what happened to the Life Seed in that book.

Santo looks over at Victor and tells him that there is nothing yet, but that doesn't mean there won't be. 'There won't be' Victor mutters, to which Santo tells Victor that he will never find out if he doesn't stop breathing down his neck. 'I need to focus' Santo adds. 'Okay, okay. I can take a hint' Victor replies, holding his hands up, he then tells Santo that he has to get going anyway. Santo quietly tells Victor that he will let him know if he finds anything. Victor then leaves the table, as Iara asks her friends if they are not seeing this – it's the trailer for the “Mission Mutation III” Firebird” film. 'I heard it's, like, the best one yet' Iara tells the others, adding that she isn't sure about, because “Mission Mutation II: The Krakoa Incident” is gonna be pretty hard to beat. 'Glob, Glob! Are you watching?!' Iara asks. 'I can see it, Iara' Glob mutters, looking up at the teleevision.

Hisako gets to her feet and tells Glob that they need to go. 'Right' Glob responds, as he follows Hisako and they go place their food trays over with other dirty trays, while Megan calls out to them, asking them where they are going. 'You barely ate anything and we have to be in class in ten minutes!' she exclaims. Hisako glances back at Megan and frowns as she tells her that she isn't hungry, and that she will be at class, but she needs to take care of something first. 'Mr Yoshida is going to be -' Megan begins. 'I'll be there!' Hisako snaps, before she and Glob exit the cafeteria, and Hisako calls out to Anole, asking him to wait. Anole frowns, but turns around and smiles as he faces Hisako, 'Uh... Hisako, Glob. What's up?' he asks, while Manon and Maxime watch them from nearby.

'We need to talk' Hisako tells Anole as she backs him up against a wall of lockers. 'Okay?' Anole replies, before Hisako asks him what happened the other night – the fire, he and Bling and Department X. 'I...uh...I really don't know what you're talking about' Anole replies, but Hisako tells him not to try and play them like fools. 'If we know, then who knows how many others do' Hisako points out, while Glob tells Victor that he could be in a lot of trouble. 'Shouldn't you kids be on your way to class?' a voice calls out. The young mutants look up to see Angel, the Dean of the Summers Institute standing over them. Victor tells Dean Angel that he is right, and apologizes, assuring him that they are on their way. 'Yeah, we...we we're on our way' Glob adds. 'Hope to it then' Angel frowns, folding his arms. Angel watches as the young mutants walk down the corridor, with Hisako warning Anole that this isn't done.

Shortly, outside Madison Jeffries' office, Manon waits on a seat, while inside, Rockslide sits facing Madison Jeffries, who sits behind a desk and listens as Rockslide informs him that he has looked through everything – twice – and there is no mention of what happened to the Life Seed after the Resolution. 'I mean... even if it had been destroyed, you'd think it would say, right?' Rockslide suggests. Jeffries tells Rockslide that perhaps he needs to keep looking. 'But you must know.  You must have an idea of what happened to the Life Seed' Rockslide replies. Madison frowns and puts his hands to his chin as he asks what sort of teacher he would be if he just gave his students all the answers. There is a knock at the door, and a young woman with blonde hair enter Jeffries' office. Jeffries looks up at her, 'Ah, Ms Blevins. What can I do for you?' he asks Skids, who pushes a trolley into his office and informs him that the books he sent out to be re-bound are back, and she wanted to let him know before she reshelved them.

Skids watches as Jeffries removes a book from the trolley and remarks 'Well, look at that' and hands the book to Rockslide, telling him that he suspects he will find what he is looking for in here. Jeffries then thanks Skids and tells her that she can leave these books with him for now. 'Happy to be of service' Skids replies as she leaves Jeffries' office. Rockslide looks at the book that he holds in his hands and appears confused as he announces that he checked all the library cards, all the records, that there was nothing about this book on file. 'You probably just missed it' Jeffries suggests, adding that it happens to the best of them. 'But I triple-checked. I -' Rockslide begins as he stares at the book called “Quest for the Life Seed”. 'Santo...' Jeffries begins, sitting on the edge of his desk, he informs Santo that he gets a lot of students who come in here questioning the texts, which is all part and parcel of coming into your own and questioning the world around you. He adds that it is good to question things, to poke and prod and look for answers, but that Santo shouldn't become so focused on one thing that he finds reasons to ignore the answers that are right in front of him. 'Don't intentionally misinterpret texts in order to satisfy a preconceived agenda. Okay?' Jeffries asks. Santo hangs his head, 'Okay' he responds.

In Sunfire's Civil Management class, the room is darkened as Sunfire shows his students several slides. Hisako has her hands on her ears as she looks up at the slides, and Sunfire informs his students that there is an epidemic sweeping their world, and that as the next generation of Department X officers, it is up to them to be extra vigilant and keep an eye out for it. The first slide projected onto the wall is of the drug known as Unveil, and Sunfire reports that recently, Department X seized a large shipment destined for the streets, some of it possibly headed here, to the Summers Institute. Sunfire admits that it is unknown how much of the Unveil was distributed beforeb the guilty parties were caught. Pixie watches Hisako as Sunfire tells the class that some people take Unveil because they believe it will make them feel better – they think it will open their minds, but instead, they find themselves addicted, desperate and ready to do anything to get another dose. He reveals that many will take too much and die.

Sunfire shows another slide, this time of a female student before and after taking Unveil. He tells the students that this is why it is important to find Unveil and get it off the sgtreets and get those who may be using it the help they need. He informs the students that in order to find Unveil and rid it from their campus, it is first important to recognize the signs of a user. Pixie watches Armor even closer now, as Sunfire reports that, first and foremost, they will start to notice behavioral changes in an Unveil addict, and while being moody is just part of being a teenager, Unveil users tend to have incredible mood swings not normal of teenagers. He tells the students to look for changes in appearance and changes in personality. 'Does your normally chipper friend suddenly become irritated easily?' Sunfire asks. 'Are they bowing out of social engagements? Do they ignore you? Seem secretive? Elusive?'

Pixie frowns as Sunfire reports that Unveil addicts will generally lose their appetite, seem distracted and unfocused – they will typically become angry if you confront them directly. Sunfire tells his class that if they suspect someone of being addicted to Unveil, not to confront them, instead report them to him or Dean Angel and let them help free their classmate from this terrible addiction.

Outside, Anole walks towards a community notice board, he takes a pen out of his satchel and writes on a note that is stuck to the board, checking over his shoulders to make sure no one is watching him. He finishes writing on the note, and glances around before he skulks off away from the notice board.

Over in the Agricultural Department, Glob is feeding the chickens called Logan, Scott and Hope. 'Hey, man. Scooch over a bit' Rockslide asks as he sits down next to Glob on the bench in the middle of the garden, announcing that he needs to talk to somebody. Glob suggests to Rockslide that he can talk to Scott, Logan and Hope. 'I find it helps me sometimes' he adds. 'What? No... no... you... I wanted to talk to you' Rockslide replies, before asking Glob if he really talks to the chickens. 'Umm... I... maybe?' Glob responds. 'Do they talk back?' Rockslide asks. Glob tells him that they don't, but sometimes it is just good to get out what is eating you up and feel like someone is listening – even if it just a bunch of chickens.

Rockslide hangs his head, 'Yeah, okay. I can see it. That's...yeah' he remarks, before telling Glob that he just needs to get this out, say it out loud. He looks at his hands and admits that it might be nothing, that he might just be being paranoid, like Professor Jeffries said, but that he was trying to find out what happened to the Life Seed, after the Resolution – after Hope Summers gave her life so that they could survive. 'She used it, but all reference to it after that, well...there is none' Rockslide informs Glob. 'Or was none, I guess' he adds. The chickens peck around Glob and Rockslide's feet, and Glob listens as Rockslide continues, informing him that he checked everywhere over and over and over again – and there is nothing. Rockslide reveals that the moment he mentions this to Professore Jeffries, all of a sudden a book appears – a book he could swear did not exist before he asked – and it answers his query by stating cleanly that the Life Seed was destroyed during the Resolution.

Rockslide wonders if maybe because he is in the middle of it, or maybe he doesn't want to admit that he was wrong – but it feels too convenient, like he found a hole in their history and they are trying to patch it up, trying to supress any questions. Suddenly, Rockslide tells Glob to forget annything he said, as now that he has said it out loud, he realizes how crazy it sounds and how dangerous it is to think this way. He thanks Glob for listening, and starts to stand up to leave. 'Wait' Glob calls out, grabbing Rockslide by his wrist. Rockslide sits back down and Glob tells him that he isn't wrong, 'This world isn't real. Everyone thinks it is.'s not' Glob utters. 'Whoa, hey. That's not what I was saying' Rockslide quickly replies. 'Just thought  that it felt like they're hiding something' he explains. 'That is what they're hiding' Glob declares, assuring Santo that this whole world is a lie – a lie  that no one sees.

Glob continues, informing Santo that every time there is a small crack, some sort of imperfection, they spackle over it and make people forget it ever happened. He tosses some more chicken feed down at the chickens, as Santo asks 'Who does?' 'Them' Glob replies. Santo asks him 'Who is “them”?' to which Glob raises his arms and admits that he hasn't figured that out, but that whoever they are, Department X works for them, and perhaps the X-Men, too. Rockslide tells Glob that that is crazy, that it doesn't make any sense, but Glob assures him that it is true. He looks down at the chickens and states that the seed wasn't destroyed, that Hope didn't die, and they weren't hatched from test tubes. 'Where we came from, we were X-Men' he announces. Rockslide gets to his feet and tells Glob that he knows he is messing with him now. Glob asks Santo to wait, and claims that he can prove it to him. 'Come with me' he asks.

Meanwhile, 'Armor, I'm your friend. I care about you. If you're on... drugs... you would tell me, right?' Pixie utters as she follows Armor, who turns around: 'What? No! How...we learn about drugs in class and now all of a sudden I'm on them?' she snaps. 'Are you kidding me?' Pixie replies, pointing out that Armor has been acting clean off – that she shaved her head, is missing class, and that it is like she isn't even there anymore. 'The lights are on, but no ones home' Pixie points out. Armor looks up and sees Anole walking nearby as she tells Pixie that she has just got a lot on her mind with what they saw the others night. 'And...just...other stuff' she adds, before telling Pixie that she is going to be okay, but that she has to go, and assures her she will explain it all to her later.

'No! You don't get off that easily!' Pixie calls out. 'You're constantly sneaking off. I want to know what's going on! Prove to me you're not on Unveil!' Pixie declares, grabbing Armor by her arm. Armor yanks herself away from Pixie and asks 'You sure I'm the one you should be worried about? You're acting pretty crazy yourself, Megan' Armor scowls, before storming away and telling Pixie that they will talk later.

'You're not wrong, Pixie' the strange girl called Manon remarks as she and her brother, Maxime, appear behind her. 'What do you want?' Pixie frowns. Manon tells Pixie that they have noticed too – Armor is acting weird. 'Real weird' Maxime adds. Manon reports that she saw things in Armor's head that scare her. 'She's going to do something bad' Maxime reveals. 'You can't just let her walk away. You need to stop her' Manon urges Pixie.

'Victor!' Armor calls out to Anole as she follows him down a dorm corridor. 'Crap!' Anole utters as he turns and sees Armor, who begins to run after him. Anole pushes past another stuent, while Armor mutters 'That little turd'. Anole darts into his dorm room, and attempts to close the door – but Armor places her hand between the door and the frame and uses her exo-skeleton to force it back open. 'You broke me door! The wide-eyed Anole exclaims. 'I'm trying to save you, you idiot!' Armor frowns. 'What? By breaking my door?' Anole asks. Armor dissolves her exo-skeleton and closes the door behind her as she informs Anole that she saw him at the fire the other night, running from Department X. 'I know that you're mixed up in something bad' Armor adds.

But Anole tells Armor that he isn't, and that he doesn't know what she is talking about. 'Don't. Don't lie to me. If I know it, then other people probably do too' Armor exclaims through gritted teeth as she grabs Anole's face. Anole looks to the floor as Armor tlels him that Glob says this isn't the first time he has done something like this, either. 'That if you get caught again. That... they'll make you disappear' Armor frowns. Anole hangs his head, then suddenly looks at Armor and asks her how she remembers, and how Glob remembers. 'Are you taking Unveil? Are you part of the resistance?' he asks.

Armor sits down on the bed beside Anole and asks why everyone thinks she is on drugs, before explaining that Glob can just remember, and that he thinks his bio-wax is protecting him from the mind wipes. She tells Anole that that is not important, and that she needs him to listen: 'If you keep going down this path...doing what you're doing...they're going to make you disappear. As your friends, we can't let that happen. Let us help you' Armor remarks, putting a hand on Anole's shoulder, when suddenly, 'What's going on in here?' a voice shouts. Armor and Anole look up to the door to see Pixie standing in the doorway. 'Are you two...are you two romantically involved? You're 'grades!' she gasps, referring to “retrogrades”, she declares that she knew something was up. Armor asks Pixie what she is doing here. Pixie rushes over and stands between them both, she tells them that she is trying to stop them before they go too far down this path.

Pixie glances over to a desk, and sees an empty bottle of Unveil. 'Oh, this just keeps getting better and better' she mutters, before pushing Anole against the window and telling him that she is placing him under arrest. 'Ow! No. You're making a mistake!' Anole replies, while Armor stands up and tells Pixie that she can't do this, that there is more going on here than she knows. 'I'm not daft. I can see what's happening. Anole's been dealing Unveil!' Pixie exclaims, before assuming that Armor has been buying it from him. 'We have to report him and get you help' Pixie declares. Armor hangs her head and tells Pixie that she is so sorry, and that she hopes one day she can forgive her, as she summons her armored form, and slams a fist into Pixie, knocking her to the ground.

'I can't believe you just -' Anole begins, shocked, looking down at Pixie. Armor returns to her normal state and tells Anole to go, to get out of here before Pixie wakes up. Anole quickly writes something on a piece of paper and hands it to Armor, telling her that these people can help, that they know what is really going on. As he starts to climb out the window, he explains that they are going to be suspicious, but they have to be to survive. 'Let them know I sent you, and give them that piece of paper' he adds. 'Okay, fine. Now go!' Armor replies as Anole climbs down the side of the dorm building. 'In En Sabah Nur we trust... for he is the way' Anole utters.

Elsewhere on the Summers Institute grounds, Dean Angel looks over and sees several students gathered around a community noticeboard. 'I'm sure you all have somewhere else to be' he remarks. 'Yes, Dean Angel' a girl replies. 'Sorry, Dean Angel' another utters as they move away from the noticeboard, which has been painted over with the message “You are being LIED to” in large red letters. Dean Angel scowls and pulls one of the signs down off the board, before turning and looking around, while a security camera watches him....

Characters Involved: 

Anole, Armor, Glob Herman, Manon, Maxime, Pixie III,  Rockslide, Shark Girl and other students
Angel, Madison Jeffries, Skids, Sunfire (all Summers Institute)
Hope, Logan and Scott the chickens

Story Notes: 

Anole, Armor, Glob Herman, Manon, Maxime, Pixie III,  Rockslide, Shark Girl and other students.

Angel, Madison Jeffries, Skids, Sunfire (all Summers Institute)

Hope, Logan and Scott the chickens


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