Generation Hope #2

Issue Date: 
February 2011
Story Title: 
“The Future is a Four-Letter-Word” – part two

Kieron Gillen (writer), Salvador Espin (art), Jim Charalampidis (color), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Olivier Coipel and Laura Martin (cover), Greg Land and Frank Martin (Oya variant cover art), Taylor Esposito (production), Jake Thomas (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (assoc. editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Hope witnesses the devastation Kenji has caused and is horrified by his madness. However, when she notices that nothing happened when she touched him, she realizes it’s not real. She wakes up but is still a prisoner. Hope copies his power managing to break free, though she falls unconscious but the X-Men and Lights save her and chase away Kenji. Cyclops orders the Lights to take care of Hope while the X-Men go handle Kenji who is now copying Godzilla…

Full Summary: 

Tokyo, a huge part of which has been levelled. In the center of the devastation stands the only partially human Kenji Uedo, who caused the devastation. This is the idea, he announces. Surely this is what all ideas lead to. Idea follows idea follows idea. Until we’ve thought of everything. He looks at Hope. And then all that’s left to think of is nothing. That’s all that’s left, he tells her, all that he leaves. Does she like it?

What has he done? she angrily demands. He is an artist and an artwork, he replies. His body is a butoh dancer. It speaks the unspeakable. He is taboo. She calls him an idiot and orders him to listen. Taboo is truth, he continues undeterred. And truth is pain. If he had lungs like aircraft hangars, he couldn’t scream loud enough to express the hurt. But now he has made his body a howl.

Hope slaps him and orders him to listen. Falling back on his flesh throne, Kenji rants that will make the world a set of lungs. A single black organ howling an obsidian note. A dark bowel venting streams off--

Hope calls him sick and self-obsessed, then realizes that that isn’t the case. There is no self. Her powers should have kicked in when she touched Kenji. And… she’s seen the end of the world… it doesn’t look like this. This is just his favorite fantasy. Her eyes begin to glow. She’s coming out of his sick head right now…

Darkness. Hope can’t see but she can move and feel. She thinks her face is covered with something sticky. She recalls t hat Kenji can grow stuff. If her mutant power actually works like Cyclops thinks she may be able to copy that. So she grows a giant eye which bursts out of whatever Kenji has her covered with.

She sees that her body is trapped by and covered with Kenji’s flesh and metal tentacles. The real Kenji tells her he has shown her the future - consider it a press preview. Preview of the No-future-future. He chuckles.

Outside, Cyclops asks about casualties. Plenty, Wolverine replies, crouching over the corpse of a bystander, just not them. They need to end this quick, he urges Cyclops. Kenji’s playing games. He lured in Hope, then sealed up again, Scott replies. And thanks to new boy stopping them they couldn’t stop her.

“Whoa, he stopped Cyclops and Wolverine,” Gabriel exclaims proudly. He annoyed Cyclops and Wolverine for a few seconds, Laurie corrects him. Wolverine could have killed him with his earlobe if he wanted. He could have been killed by Wolverine’s earlobe? Gabriel muses. Awesome!

The feral Teon snarls at Wolverine. Yeah, they will Wolverine replies. Just not when she’s in trouble. It can wait. Woof, Teon seems to agree.

Cyclops angrily turns to Rogue, asking her why she let Hope endanger herself. Does she get some sick satisfaction from endangering the future of the whole mutant race? She was meant to get them to safety! She was trying! Rogue points out. Hope is damn wilful. Hope could be dead! Cyclops shouts.

Gabriel, Laurie and Idie immediately decidedly deny this. Even Teon looks at Scott angrily. Scott is silent for a moment, then announces what they are going to do. Rogue is to absorb Wolverine’s claws and Laurie’s flight, then extract Hope when he has blasted clear a passage. Wolverine...

Make sure Kenji doesn’t push something back and stick it right through Cyclops’ back? Wolverine asks. He’d appreciate it, Scott replies and orders the Lights to stay absolutely clear. Retreat with Hope when Rogue retrieves her.

The three X-Men begin to run toward the building when suddenly the flesh mass atop the roof begins to move. Idie tells the X-Men they should have some faith. Hope can look after herself. Hope can look after them all!

It becomes clear that Hope, though still imprisoned by a tentacle, has copied Kenji’s powers. But it wears her out and she faints. Scott shouts at Rogue to get her but, before he can finish his sentence, Gabriel runs and catches her first. Saved her for the second time, he announces smugly. He’s not sure if he gets the credit unless she’s awake. Someone put in a good word for him!

More art! Kenj announces He forms rotor blades to fly away like a helicopter, announcing he needs a canvas. Looks like bad’s just graduated to worse, Wolverine warns the others.

Clean canvas, Kenji announces and claws a petrol van which explodes. He’s a monster! Idie shouts and sprays ice at the van to contain the conflagration while Cyclops tries to keep back Kenji with his optic blast. Having taken care of the fire, Idie announces monsters should fight monsters and begins to burn and attacks Kenji with the flames. Burning, he flies away.

Nearest water? Cyclops asks. Central Park, Logan replies. Let’s go! Scott praises Idie and orders the kids to guard Hope until she recovers. Do not dream of following them!

The three X-Men run toward Kenji, who has landed in a small pond in the park. How does he want to play this? Rogue asks Cyclops who replies it’s like wrestling an octopus. They need to tie him down. He thinks Hope had the right idea. He doesn’t want to risk Rogue taking Kenji’s powers when he’s in this state, but get a taste and use it to neutralize him.

Rogue flies at Kenji and touches one of his tentacles. Horrified, she screams as she wrestles with the tentacle. Wolverine jumps to her defence, slicing off one tentacle. Serve up some more Tako Butsu, he announces.

Cyclops kneels down next to Rogue. She’s used to minds leaving their muddy fingerprints all over hers but that was something… His mind is his body. It doesn’t know anymore where it starts or ends. He’s having a nightmare and they are all having it with him! She caught a glimpse and just recoiled from it but he’s trapped in there. It’s not his fault!

Scott swears, then tells her she is on the bench until she can get her head together. They can take it from here.

Kenji turns into a big kind of ball and a moment later reshapes into a giant Godzilla-like being. As he walks towards the building, Wolverine decides this is what happens if you let kids watch too much television.

This can’t go on, Cyclops decides. Wolverine reminds him Rogue said it wasn’t his fault. Yeah, but Kenji killing anyone else would be Scott’s, Cyclops insists. They need to put him down, whatever it takes.

Not far away, Laurie remarks does anyone else feel… “Bad!” Idie finishes, holding Hope’s hands. Very bad. Yes, like “oh no I’ve just made out with my sister without realizing” bad, Gabriel adds. It’s wrong, Idie states, whatever it is it’s wrong. They need Hope…

Characters Involved: 

Hope Summers II
Gabriel Cohuelo, Idie Okonkwo, Laurie Tromette, Teon Macik (four of the Five Lights)

Cyclops, Rogue, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Kenji Uedo (the fifth light)

Story Notes: 

According to the variant cover, Idie’s codename will be Oya.

“Butoh” is the collective name for a diverse range of activities, techniques and motivations for dance, performance, or movement inspired by the Ankoku-Butoh movement. It typically involves playful and grotesque imagery, taboo topics, extreme or absurd environments.

Wolverine and Teon will battle it out for the role of alpha male in issue #4.

Cyclops accused Rogue of endangering Hope in Second Coming #2.

Tako Butsu is chopped octopus.

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