A+X #12

Issue Date: 
September 2013
Story Title: 
(1st story) Wonder Man + Beast: People Change (2nd story) Captain America + Jubilee

(1st story) Christos Gage (writer), David Williams (artist), Veronica Gandini (colorist), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer)
(2nd story) Justin Jordan (writer), Angel Unzueta (artist), Thomas Mason (artist), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer)
Mike Deodato and James Campbell (Cover Artists), Jordan D. White and Nick Lowe (editors), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

(1st story)
Beast runs into Wonder-Man and the two decide to catch up over lunch but immediately begin criticizing each other’s recent actions. After a fun night on the town that involves beating up the Circus of Crime, pranking Wolverine and befriending Absorbing Man, they realize that, although they both have changed, their friendship remains intact.

(2nd story)
Captain America brings Jubilee along on a mission to a sunken World War II submarine, filled with Nazi vampires. After defeating the Nazis, Captain America tells her that his intention was for Jubilee to be an example to show them that being a vampire doesn’t make you a monster.

Full Summary: 

(1st story)
At Avengers Mansion, Beast has just finished installing a system that will allow the Avengers and X-Men to share data, complete with an impenetrable A.I. firewall. He hands over a lengthy manual to a confused Rogue, who is surprised to find that it’s written in Shi’ar. “Call me if your laptop starts to threaten to exterminate humanity,” Beast says as he walks off and bumps into Wonder Man in the mansion hallway.

“Hank, I… didn’t know you were coming by,” Wonder Man says as the two friends awkwardly stare at each other. Beast assures him that it was a spur of the moment thing, even as Simon claims to be busy and begins to walk away. Now alone, Beast is left standing in front of an old photo of the pair from their Avenger days, Simon dressed in his trademark red jacket and glasses while Hank gives him bunny ears. The picture makes Beast nostalgic and he asks Simon to grab a bite with him to catch up, to which Simon responds with a smile.

Moments later, the two are sitting side by side enjoying sandwich heroes and beer while expressing surprise that the shop they’re in hasn’t been shut down due to health reasons. They share a laugh when they remember the good times they once had here, flashing back to a scene of the pair walking drunk, singing "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter.” The two then grow sullen as they look at each other and simultaneously ask, “What happened to you?”

Beast begins to question Simon about his attack on the Avengers. Wonder Man defends himself, saying he stands by his point but his ionic field was in flux. Simon fires back, asking him what he was thinking when he brought the original X-Men to the present. Beast admits that it seems the two of them have changed and wonders if there’s any way they could salvage their friendship. The look at each other with a smile and call for the bartender.

Hours later, Wonder Man is explaining his belief that the Avengers cause more problems than they solve and his mission is still to change that. He brings up the fact that most of the X-Men’s conflicts are self-inflicted as well but Beast tells him that it’s not fair to compare a superhero team to an entire species. Simon asks again what he was trying to prove by bringing the original X-Men to the present but, before Beast can answer, Simon tells him that he understands, wishing things were the way they used to be and how back in those days, they could get away for a bit to have fun. “Who says we can’t now?” Beast asks with a grin. Wonder Man simply asks that there be no fighting.

Later at a carnival, Wonder Man is on his cell phone, calling the police while Beast prepares to fight off the Circus of Crime. Beast assures him that he can handle it but is outnumbered by the likes of Princes Python, Human Cannonball and the Flying Gambonnos, all ready to attack!

Sometime later, Simon to ready to throw a white towel into the boxing ring where Beast is being crushed by Pink Pearl. Screens around the crowded arena indicate that lasting three rounds against Pink Pearl will win you $1,000, a feat that Beast thinks he can still accomplish.

Later, Beast and Wonder Man creep up behind Wolverine, who fell asleep on a couch watching television. Wonder Man approaches Wolverine’s hair with scissors as Beast looks on with worry. Moments later, Wolverine is chasing them with his claws out and half of his trademark haircut missing. Wonder Man tries to reason with him but Beast is already running and suggests that Simon does the same.

Later, the two heroes try to stop Absorbing Man as he rampages through Times Square. Beast asks Wonder Man to put his pacifism aside as he struggles against the Absorbing Man’s steel skin. Instead, Simon asks the Absorbing Man what he’s upset about. The Absorbing Man stops and stares at Simon in awe.

Back at the bar they started in, Beast and Wonder Man listen as Absorbing Man complains about the lack of gratitude he receives from his wife. Later, the trio try their hand in karaoke and, after a few more drinks, Absorbing Man is calling and professing his love to his wife. Beast tells him to stay strong but Simon tells him to ask her to bring friends.

Later, the bar is crowded with Titania, Letha and Poundcakes. Absorbing Man and Titania are occupied in a heavy make-out session while Simon attempts to impress Lethal by talking about his film career. Beast is reluctantly backed into a corner by Poundcakes, who doesn’t seem to mind when Beast tells her he’s in a relationship.

Later, a frightened Beast exits the bar on top of Simon’s back. Simon tells Poundcakes that just because Beast walks around shirtless doesn’t imply consent. The two make their way down a city street and Simon reflects proudly that the two had a night on the town that ended peacefully. Beast reminds him of the fight with the Circus of Crime but admits that he’s impressed with Simon’s maturity and commitment to passivity. Simon says that he’s just as impressed that Beast is still able to loosen up and show a lack of maturity.

Although they both think the other has changed, they also agree that the world has changed with them and are glad that, for one night, they got to act like it hadn’t. The pair of old friends put their arms around each other and walk down the street singing “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter.”

(2nd story)
“Bloodsucker to bloodsucker, I don’t think that’s going to work out for you,” Jubilee says as she blows away a mosquito on her arm. Jubilee is sitting on a creaky wooden dock somewhere on the Louisiana Gulf Coast. “Showing solidarity, Jubilee?” Captain America says as he approaches from behind her with oxygen recyclers, which he says they’ll need for their dive. Jubilee says that she’s pretty sure she doesn’t need to breathe. “Be a boring dive if we couldn't talk,” Captain America says as he adjusts his oxygen mask.

As the two make their way below sea level, Captain America asks Jubilee how much she knows about the World War II, particularly if she knows what a U-Boat is. “I’ve seen Das Boot,” Jubilee replies. Captain America tells her that one German submarine got within distance of the United States and that it was carrying a very special payload, known as Project Blackwing. The American military managed to sink it off the coast of Louisiana but the submarine was never recovered until recently by a Gulf clean-up crew. Once S.H.I.E.L.D. received word, Captain America requested to handle it and thought Jubilee would be able to help due to her condition. “You can say the word,” Jubilee says. “Vampire.”

Jubilee tells Captain America that being a vampire is more of a lifestyle than a condition, except that she didn’t get to choose it. Captain America tells her that they don’t often get to choose the circumstances life gives them, like how he spent decades asleep as the world moved on without him. Jubilee asks how he handled the fact that almost everyone he knew lived their lives and died because, eventually, the same thing will happen to her. When she asked Wolverine, he suggested that she try forgetting her past every few years. Wolverine then told her to talk to Steve about it but admits that she’s still not sure why he wanted her for this mission.

Their conversation stops as Steve points out Project Blackwing, a huge Nazi submarine sunk to the ocean floor. As they make their way inside via a hatch, Captain America tells her that he thinks the submarine may still pose a threat and that threat is why she’s here. Jubilee enters the sub and turns around to find none other than Nazi vampires.

The Nazi vampires immediately attack the pair, calling for food and recognizing Captain America as the American Super-Soldier. Jubilee quickly punches one in the face as Captain America blocks one with his shield. Captain America shows some concern for Jubilee but realizes she doesn’t need help as he watches her take down her foe with a swift kick. Captain America presses his boot onto one of the Nazi’s heads and tries to talk to him, asking if he speaks English. “There is nothing I wish to hear from you, American,” the Nazi vampire says with blood dripping from its mouth.

“Honestly, I thought that would be tougher,” Jubilee says but turns around to realize that there are many more Nazi vampires approaching behind her. She retracts her fangs and claws, grabs a stake and leaps towards them, turning them into dust as she impales them. The Nazis realize that Jubilee is one of them and Captain America uses her as an example that vampires don’t have to be monsters to the one he’s holding down with his shield. He tells the Nazi that the war is over but the Nazi refuses to accept it and promises to spread and rule as the Unreich!

“I was afraid you might say that,” Captain America says and he kicks his captive away. He asks the rest of the Nazis if they agree and they respond with “Heil!” and various threats. They promise to never surrender as they continue to attack Jubilee. Captain America, having heard enough, throws his shield and beheads and kills every last one of them in a single throw.

As the vampire corpses explode to dust around them, Jubilee asks why she was brought, as Captain America clearly didn’t need her help. She accuses him of using this mission as an elaborate threat in case she ever goes evil. Captain America assures her that he didn’t bring her along for them to be an example to her; he’d hoped that Jubilee would be an example to them. “So you brought me here because I’m awesome,” Jubilee declares. Captain America agrees and says they were only monsters because they chose to be, not because they were vampires. Jubilee seems to appreciate what she calls a “stealth character lesson.” “One with U-Boats and Nazi vampires,” Captain America says. “Better than an after school special, right?” The two walk off as Jubilee pokes fun at Captain America for not even knowing what an after school special is.

Characters Involved: 

(1st story)
Wonder Man

Absorbing Man
Pink Pearl
Princess Python, Human Cannonball, Flying Gambonnos(Circus of Crime)



(2nd story)
Captain America

Nazi Vampires

Story Notes: 

(1st story)
Beast went back in time and brought the original X-Men to the present in the opening arc of All-New X-Men.

The song that Wonder Man and Beast like to sing after a night out is “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” by English beat band, Herman’s Hermits.

(2nd story)
Das Boot is a 1981 German war film.

The term “After School Special” is used to describe television programs aimed at school-age children that deal with controversial or socially relevant issues.